Friday, August 27, 2010

Danger, Will Robinson!

I was a Lost in Space addict as a kid. When I was 9, I tried to convince my parents we should name my new baby brother Don. They opted for Kent instead.

At the time, I just couldn't figure it out. Why wouldn't they want to name this newest member of our family after the dreamy Major Don West on my favorite TV show?

Well, I couldn't figure it out until I was in college and saw reruns of Lost in Space. Somehow this cherished TV series got a little cheesier in the ensuing years. It was definitely "B" movie material.

For those of you too young to remember, Lost in Space was a 60-minute, sci-fi series broadcast on CBS every Wednesday night. It was about the Robinson Family, Major Don West and their faithful robot who left Earth on the Jupiter II spacecraft. They were on a five-year mission to explore a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. Unfortunately, Dr. Zachary Smith sabotaged the ship, throwing it off course and leaving the entire crew Lost in Space. Gasp! Each week, they traveled from planet to planet, searching for a way back to Earth.

They found plenty of aliens and danger along the way. You would have thought the object of my preadolescent crush would have been Will Robinson, the precocious 9-year-old in the series. He and his friend the robot were always in the thick of the action, hence the often repeated phrase: "Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!"

Well, we aren't battling any aliens here on the County Line, though we continue to slog through a little mud and the weed population seems to have taken on a mutant-like aggressiveness after almost 3.5 inches of rain earlier in the week.

But there are dangers lurking in the kitchen cabinets, I tell you. There's a half-full jar of Nutella. I had never tried this hazelnut-chocolate spread, but I saw a recipe (and irresistible photo) on another blog and just had to try it.

It's definitely a dangerous substance to have around. I made the recipe for a church potluck because I didn't figure I could be trusted with them just sitting around the house.

But then I had another problem. I still had Nutella leftover. That was definitely not a good thing. It is sitting in my kitchen cabinet, tempting me as I speak. My personal dietitian (daughter Jill) says I should throw it away. It was a little too pricey for me to do that. But maybe I should make another batch of these brownies and stash them in the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind? We can only hope.

If you're looking for a decadent, gooey brownie, I recommend these. But don't say I didn't warn you. There's danger lurking around every kitchen corner.

Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Oooey Gooey Brownies
(photo is from the Tasty Kitchen website: I didn't figure I could top the photo.)

Nutella Caramel Hazelnut Oooey Gooey Brownies
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy

½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking Powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup Nutella, melted (more if desired)
¼ cup caramel sauce, melted
1 bag (8 oz.) hazelnuts

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Into a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Using a whisk, mix together and set aside. Into a stand mixer, add the sugar and butter; cream together. Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add in vanilla. Gradually add in flour mixture until it’s well combined. Batter should be thick and sticky.

Spray an ovenproof dish with cooking spray. Place a piece of parchment paper (slightly larger than the dish to allow for handles) inside. It will adhere to the bottom of the dish. Take half of the brownie batter and smooth it on top of the parchment paper. Take caramel sauce and spoon it on top of the brownie mixture, covering the entire layer of brownie. Place the remaining brownie batter on top, smoothing it out. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until sides are firm and center is no longer giggly.

Allow brownies to cool completely before removing. Cut brownies to your desired size using a serrated knife. Make a small indentation with your finger into each brownie. Take melted Nutella and drizzle over the tops of the brownies. Garnish with the hazelnuts.

Note: The original recipe said it served 9, but it didn't give a pan size. So, I guessed that they meant for me to use a 9- by 9-inch pan. Since I was making the recipe for a church potluck, I doubled the recipe and put them in a 9- by 13-inch pan. It worked fine. I didn't double the hazelnuts and still had some leftover.


  1. Nutella is good on toast with bananas on top! It you can bring yourself to only use a tablespoon the calories aren't that bad!

  2. I'm sure that would be good! Discipline: one of the hard things about food for me! Thanks for sharing the recipe on your blog. For those of you who want to visit Jaime, it's
    I got the recipe via her blog.

  3. Glad to get your recipe as we have a church potluck tomorrow and I have Nutella! We brought 2 big jars of Nutella home from Europe because Drew was sure it was better than what you could buy here. He also said college girls are 'nuts' about Nutella. That might be why he took a jar to school! Christy