Ed. Note—He's back! Aaron Vinten of The Athlete's Table returns, with a recipe that recalls a famous brand, but gets there without a lot of the terrifying stabilizers that make long shelf lives possible. 

You'll love this rich, nutty and chocolatey "Nutella" inspired hazelnut butter made with all-natural ingredients you might already have right in your own kitchen. And dare we say it's better than Nutella? well, it doesn't seem like much of a dare to me! Fresh oven-roasted hazelnuts are blended in the food processor with vanilla, cocoa powder, honey, sea salt and Guittard Brand milk chocolate. I'm usually a dark chocolate person, but this Guittard milk chocolate is some kinda wonderful. It is my favorite brand of chocolate chips, especially the milk chocolate. This Chocolate HazelButter perfect for your morning toast, great to eat with fresh fruit or just sneak a spoon full to chase away that nagging sweet tooth.

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Gather all the ingredients and tools out in front of you before you begin.  In addition to the ingredients listed above, gather together a food processor, kitchen towel, sharp chef's knife and a cutting board. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

The best place that I have found to buy hazelnuts is at Trader Joe's. they have both raw and roasted.


Place the raw hazelnuts on a baking tray and season with a bit of olive oil and salt.  Roast for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.  Carefully place the hot hazelnuts in the middle of kitchen towel and pull the side of the towel up into one hand so that the nuts are enclosed inside.  Using two hands, rub the nuts together to remove the skin. If using previously roasted hazelnuts you can skip this step, but I still place them in the oven the get them heated up and oils activated.

Add the nuts to the food processor and blend on HIGH for 10-15 minutes.  This will take some time depending on your food processor.  In the beginning you will frequently need to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to keep the nut mixture blending. It will creep up the sides and get stuck below the blade. This process will take some time, but eventually the mixture will loosen into a familiar nut butter consistency. You might start to think that this step isn't going to work, have faith and be patient. Also, be sure that the blade is pushed and locked all the way down to the bottom.

When the nuts have fully broken down and released there oils turn the food processor off.  Add the cocoa powder, salt, coconut oil, vanilla and honey and blend for 30 seconds to incorporate. Turn the food processor off. 

Next, Add 1/2 a cup of milk chocolate to a microwave save bowl and melt in the microwave until softened. for this recipe, try 45 second increments of high heat until softened. Add the melted chocolate to the food processor and blend for 30 seconds.

Remove the mixture from the food processor and pour into a storage dish. The Nutella is ready to eat, but will taste best the next day after the flavors to mingle. Store in the fridge for couple weeks, but it wont last that long. The HazelButter will firm up in the fridge and soften as it is left out of the countertop to warm up.

You'll love this rich, nutty and chocolatey "Nutella" inspired hazelnut butter made with all-natural ingredients that you have right in your own kitchen. Fresh oven-roasted hazelnuts are blended in the food processor with vanilla, cocoa powder, honey, sea salt and Guittard Brand milk chocolate. Guittard chocolate is arguable my favorite brand of store bought chocolate chips, especially the milk chocolate. This Chocolate HazelButter is perfect for your morning toast, as a fresh fruit dip or just sneaking a spoon full to chase away that nagging sweet tooth.