If you’re a fan of Nutella spread then this Nutella hazelnut popcorn recipe will be right up your alley. And what’s not to love about Nutella? Developed in the early 1960’s by Italian company, Ferrero, it’s a combination of sweetened cocoa and creamy hazelnuts.
It’s marketed as a spread for bread or toast but we all know what a great ingredient it is in baked goods and even ice creams. Bake it into cakes, cookies and brownies, use it to flavor frosting, ice cream and candy or just heat it up and pour it over pretty much anything. We love it all but, well, OK, we admit, our favorite way to eat it is just with a spoon, directly from the jar. Fortunately there’s enough Nutella spread in our kitchen to bake some with popcorn.
While some of our flavored popcorn recipes rely only on tossing our popped corn with a combination of ingredients, this recipe is best when it’s baked. You could, of course, just heat up some Nutella and pour it over our popped popcorn. Tasty but not quite the same texture. We make a sauce with water, light brown sugar, salt, the Nutella spread and a touch of baking soda. Once cooked on the stovetop, we toss in the popcorn and then spread it out on a baking sheet. Then it goes into a low and slow oven for about 15 to let the coating seal into the popcorn.
When you first take it out, it may seem a bit too liquid but it will harden and become crunchy while it sits. The result is an extra crispy, crunchy, chocolatey, salty snacking experience. But we hate to leave well enough alone when we can make it even better. After all, what could be more appropriate to add to a hazelnut flavored concoction than actual roasted hazelnuts?
If you’re adding the roasted kind, roughly chop them and stir them in. For this recipe, however, we bought one of those European chocolate and hazelnut bars, chopped it up and tossed that in with the baked popcorn. Either choice should be added when the popcorn comes out of the oven. And if you use the chocolate, it will melt slightly from the residual heat and add to the gooey deliciousness of it all. Should we tell you how to store leftovers? Will there really be leftovers?
Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees.
Add the water and light brown sugar to a pot and cook on low heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves.
Stir in the butter, Nutella spread, baking soda and salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low heat.
Add the popped popcorn to a large bowl and pour the mixture over the popcorn. Stir to coat and then place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, use a spatula to stir and add in the chopped hazelnuts or chopped hazelnut chocolate bar. Allow to cool completely before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container on the counter.
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