Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day and Nutella Puffs

I know I’ve said it before, but I think it’s worth saying again:  my wife is pretty awesome.  I’ve always wanted to be able to express the way I feel about her through words, but I fail miserably every time I try.  As an attorney and young food blogger, romantic poetry is not a world in which I feel comfortable.  Let’s just say that Chelsi has a hard time keeping a straight face when I attempt any form of smooth-talking. 
I'm not kidding.  I would be better off reading 5 random conversation hearts than trying to compile a complete sentence expressing the feelings I have for my wife.

Every time I try to tell my wife how much I love her, it comes off cliché, overdone, or too simple.  It’s like I turn into Siri and just start spitting off the right words, but without the requisite non-verbal cues that make it feel genuine. 

However, Valentine’s Day is here and it’s time for me to try one more time to express myself through the English language.  This time, instead of writing a letter or trying to come up with a heartfelt toast, I’m going to use my blog and my grilling skills to help get my point across. 

I love traveling with my wife. 

See?  Doesn't that sound so simple and cheesy?  But it's true.  I really love going anywhere with her.  Whether it’s a short weekend getaway or an extravagant family vacation, we make the perfect travel companions and always have a great time together.

To help me say this, I’m going to make her a pair of Tuscan style rotisserie Cornish game hens.  Chelsi studied abroad in Tuscany and I’ve visited there myself, but it’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to go back to and experience together.  For those of you who don’t have a rotisserie, don’t worry.  I’ll also explain how you can grill a spatchcocked Cornish game hen using the same Tuscan style wet rub.

I love how sweet my wife is.  

My wife is the sweetest person I know.  She is sweet to others, sweet with children, and really sweet with our dog, Rufus.  I have never known her to have a malicious thought toward anyone in the world and it’s so refreshing to wake up with someone like that every single day.

To help me express how much I love her sweetness, I’m making grilled cinnamon sugar sweet potatoes.  That’s pretty self-explanatory and she loves sweet potatoes.

I love how much my wife has changed me and made me a better person.  

I don’t even want to think about the person I would be today without her and I need to remind myself of that more often.

For this one, I’m going to be making grilled tomatoes.  I used to hate tomatoes, until my wife encouraged me to grill them and see what I thought.  Now tomatoes are our favorite grilled vegetable (er, fruit?) and I grill them as often as possible.

To top it all off, I’m going to be making her a delicious homemade box of chocolates with Nutella and puff pastry.  I call them Nutella Puffs.

Since this is all too much to cover in one post, I’m going to tell you how to make the Nutella Puffs first.  The reason I’m covering the dessert first is because it is by far the easiest to make and will undoubtedly be a crowd pleaser.

I should say that this recipe came from another blog called The Italian Dish.  The only thing I changed about it was adding different fillings with Nutella other than Bananas.  She was also much more effective with her photography and presentation.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own special box of Nutella Puffs:

One box of frozen puff pastry

Any topping that you like to combine with chocolate, including, but not limited to:

Bananas, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Mini Marshmallows
Smoked Sea Salt
Cayenne Pepper

I realize that those last two ingredients are pretty crazy, but I know there are at least a couple of you that would like it.

Special equipment you’ll need:

Baking sheet
Parchment Paper
A glass of water

First, you’ll need to thaw your puff pastry.  There should be some instructions on the box on how to do that properly.

While your puff pastry is thawing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Once your puff pastry is pliable, unfold it and cut it into 9 squares.

Using two regular spoons, scoop a little bit of Nutella into the middle of each square.

Place your toppings on the Nutella. 

This is where you can get creative with it.  What makes this like a box of chocolates is that you don’t know what’s in each Nutella puff.  One might have coconut and the other might have a pinch of cayenne.  You wont find out until you bite into it!

This one was my favorite.  I combined the mini marshmallows with the smoked sea salt.  It tasted like a smoky, salty smore.  Delicious.

Dip your fingers in the glass of water and pinch together the four corners of each square.  Make sure there is a tight seal with a good amount of water or else the bond will break, revealing the secret filling.

They should be pinched together even more than this.

Place the square in the 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

These things are best eaten warm, especially the ones with fruit filling.  Don't worry if they split open, they'll still taste great.

And that’s it!  A custom made box of Nutella puffs.  Check out the Cornish game hen's tomorrow.


  1. Jim, these look like they rival the Nutella Won Tons, way to go! Yum.

  2. Thank You! Yeah, these were so good and incredibly easy, which is what I need when I venture into the world of baking.