Today is the Festa di San Valentino, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day. In honor of this romantic day, I decided to make my hubby, Jay, something special for breakfast as a small token of my love for him. In my opinion, nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like chocolate (flowers, jewelry, and other presents rank up there, too, but this is a food blog), so I decided to make him something warm, gooey, and oozing with chocolatey goodness.
Now, Italians aren’t big on the typical American-style breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, etc. They generally enjoy a caffe or cappuccino with either a panino, or a cornetto (croissant) instead. Cornetti are available plain or stuffed with yummy fillings. My personal favorite is a Cornetto con Nutella (Croissant with Nutella), which is the inspiration for this morning’s breakfast treat.
For those of you who have never tried Nutella, let me tell you what you’re missing. Nutella is a creamy, yummy, chocolate-hazelnut spread that is basically Europe’s answer to peanut butter, but oh so much better! I’ve eaten it as a creamy frosting on cupcakes, a rich filling in crepes and panini, a dip for fresh fruit, and simply by itself directly out of the jar. Nutella even has it’s own special day. World Nutella Day was actually celebrated just this past week on February 9th (I’m a little late, I know). You can learn more about World Nutella Day, as well as get some great Nutella recipes, on the blogs of Bleeding Espresso and Ms. Adventures in Italy.
My recipe for Cornetti con Nutella Veloce (Fast Croissants with Nutella) is actually a variation of a recipe for Chocolate Crescents from InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook. The book is filled with information, stories, sexy food photos, and recipes using foods that are considered to be aphrodisiacs. My copy is in storage back in the U.S., so It’s very temping for me to purchase the recently-released 10th Anniversary Edition of the book, which contains additional recipes for enticing your beloved, to use while I’m here in Italy. Luckily, this recipe is so easy that I don’t need to have my book as a reference. It’s main ingredients are simple: Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescent Rolls, Nutella, and a little egg, water, and sugar to create a shiny glaze on top. No, Pillsbury products are not available here in Italy. I just have access to a special grocery store that sells American products. I would think that the Pasta Sfoglia (puff pastry) that is available in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets in Italy would probably work in place of the crescent rolls. I just haven’t personally tried it yet. Word to the wise, make two batches. The first one will be gone all too quickly. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and the ones you love! To my husband, Jay, ‘Il mio cuore e tuo per sempre! Baci e abbracci (My heart is yours forever! Kisses and hugs)!
Cornetti con Nutella Veloce
1 Can Pillsbury Butter Flake Crescent Rolls
1 Large Egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the crescent dough from the tube, and separate into the pre-cut triangles. Evenly space the triangles on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place a dollop of Nutella at the base of each triangle (about 1 Tbsp.), and roll up just as you normally would when making crescent rolls. Beat together 1 egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of each crescent with the egg wash, then sprinkle each one with a little bit of granulated sugar. This will give the cresents a shiny, slightly-sweet glaze. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy with coffee or a tall glass of cold milk.
Caution: Make sure to let these cool for just a few minutes before eating. The Nutella inside will be very hot!