Tired of simply spooning Nutella straight from the jar into your mouth? This Nutella bars recipe will allow you to consume your weight in Nutella in a much more elegant fashion. This perfect dessert consists in a layer of gooey Nutella sandwiched between layers of crispy shortbread cookie dough. The hardest part of this easy recipe is waiting for the bars to cool!
A Short History of Nutella
Nutella, like so many great inventions, emerged from scarcity. In 1806, Napoleon’s continental system prevented British goods from entering French-controlled ports, putting cocoa in short supply. A chocolatier in Turin named Michele Prochet extended what little cocoa he had by blending it with sugar and roasted hazelnuts. He named the confection Gianduja, after a local carnival character.
A century later, major trade interruptions from the aftermath of World War II yet again made cocoa scarce. Pietro Ferrero, another inventive chocolate-maker from a hazelnut-growing region of Italy began marketing blocks of Gianduja as a topping for bread. In 1951, he tweaked his recipe slightly to make a creamier, more spreadable version, naming it “Supercrema Gianduja.” A wise soul in Ferrero’s factory rebranded the product “Nutella” and set out to market it across Europe. The chocolate spread was a runaway success and remains wildly popular to this day. 27,854 devotees participated in the world’s largest continental breakfast, featuring Nutella toast, in 2005. World Nutella day was launched in 2007 and is celebrated annually (for unknown reasons) on February 25. This Nutella bars recipe honors the fact that Nutella is one of our favorite flavors and that, in our opinion, every day should be Nutella day.
Big Nutella fan? Made the mistake of buying that extra large jar of Nutella at Costco? Here are a few more ways to enjoy your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread.
Beyond the Nutella Bars Recipe…More Great Bars!
Looking for more great dessert bars to bring with you on your next picnic (or greedily consume alone in front of the TV…who’s judging? Certainly not us.)?
Useful Tools for Making this Nutella Bars Recipe
Nutella Bars Recipe
- 8 x 8 inch square pan
- parchment paper
- offset spatula
For the shortbread crust
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter cold is fine
For the filling
- 3/4 cup of Nutella
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and line an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine butter and dry ingredients. Pulse to combine until the mixture forms a ball.
- If you don’t own a food processor, bring the butter to room temperature and beat the room temperature butter and dry ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a rubber spatula or a hand mixer.
- Remove 2/3 of the dough from the food processor and press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer.
- Bake until the crust is just starting to turn light brown, roughly 15 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and cool in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to spread the Nutella over the top.
- Heat the Nutella slightly to make it easier to spread. Pour the slightly melted Nutella over the top of the cooled crust, using an offset spatula to spread. You should have a thick layer of Nutella. Feel free to add more to taste.
- Crumble the remaining top layer of cookie dough over the top of the Nutella.
- Return to oven. Bake bars until the topping is crisp and golden brown in color, roughly 30 minutes.
- Remove to a wire rack and let fully cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, dust the top of the bars with powdered sugar. Slice into 9 large servings, or 16 small servings.
- Bars keep perfectly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for several days.
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