A thick and rich layer of Nutella between buttery rich oats makes these Nutella Crumble Bars the perfect treat for the party. A simple recipe to bake up in no time!
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The magic word for me? Nutella.
I love the rich, creamy chocolatey hazelnut goodness. It pairs so well with sooo many things. Pretzels and Nutella. Banana and Nutella. Even Ritz crackers and Nutella! Graham crackers and, you guessed it, Nutella. All the combos and so much more. And today, we combine my favorite with my favorite: Nutella and oats.
While this recipe may be nice and sweet, and perfect for the holiday, I had a gut wrenching reminder today that the holiday season can be a very tough time for some families, and quite honestly, probably a lot more than we realize.
I attended the funeral of a friend who had to lay her 30 year old husband to rest. This Christmas was meant to be the very first Christmas with their sweet little baby girl and yet here she was, in the midst of all the holly jolly, saying the saddest of goodbyes.
Her husband was a strong, healthy and vibrant young man, had so much life still to live, so many dreams to fulfill, a child to raise, a wife to love. And yet a sad, painful goodbye and stunted hopes and dreams.
At the funeral, we all received the Christmas card that was meant to be sent out to celebrate this magical season, a hand drawn picture of this perfect little family. On it, a message instead was written to all of us, including this closing line:
Hug your family, look them in the eyes when you say, “I love you,” and express gratitude every single chance you get.
I cannot think of a better reminder as we head into this season. The blessings, the people, the gifts, all of the things we are so lucky to have, may we really and truly know how lucky we are. And those who are experiencing such painful loss this season, may we be the smile, the friend, the thoughtful gesture they may need during this time.
If you can send an extra prayer out to the sweet little mama and baby who are missing their daddy/hubby so much this season. And for anyone else out there that may feel a void as we move into the holidays.
I have a tendency to write a post that by the end of it seems like it’s somewhat insensitive to add a recipe. But I find that so often it is the food or recipe that somehow sparks what I write in the first place, so I guess it can still be ok.
And so it was the sweetness of these Nutella Crumble Bars that reminded me to step back and remember that this season is not so very sweet for some, especially those experiencing tough losses right now.
Sharing these next weeks with the ones you love the most, and coming together to share meals, treats and memories can make this season a bit brighter for many.
Sending a baked good, or a dinner can help make the season a bit less stressful for those as well. So maybe that is what these Nutella Crumble Bars can be, a gift. A special treat to help warm the soul of someone you love. A bite of homemade goodness can help bring a smile to someone who may need it the most.
Some things to know about this recipe:
- While I find Nutella to be the very very very best spread to use as the fudge layer in these crumble bars, you can very well use another nut butter if you like. You could use peanut butter or almond butter I imagine with a super delicious treat in the end as well.
- I used rolled oats for this recipe, make sure that is what you have versus quick oats or steel cut, for best results. For gluten free, just use gluten free rolled oats.
- Nutella and the butter contain dairy. I believe there are dairy free Nutella like spreads out there. If you decide to use a butter substitute, I recommend using sticks versus a spread in a tub.
- To melt or not to melt? I know that in some crumble recipes I have kept the butter cold but for these I melted. I find that this helps in packing down the first layer of the bars and keeps everything intact.
- Make sure to really press the bottom layer into the pan. This will keep it from crumbling apart (pun intended, ha) when cutting the crumble bars up. The top layer does not need to be pressed down though.
- 1 1/2 c oats
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 c butter, melted
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 c Nutella
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except Nutella.
Press 3/4 of the mixture firmly into a parchment lined or well greased 8inx8in baking pan. Freeze for about 10 minutes--this is optional but it will help keep any oats from coming up into your Nutella.
Spread the Nutella onto the oat layer--feel free to add a little more because can you ever really have too much Nutella?
Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top of the Nutella and bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Cool well before cutting--unless you like your crumble bars hot and crumbly of course!