These Nutella Hand Pies have a soft Nutella centre with crunchy hazelnuts and the easiest buttery, sweet flaky pastry.
These Nutella Hand Pies came about after I’d finished making (and semi-devoured) my Almond and Apple Crostata, and I was in the mood for more dessert wrapped in crispy, buttery pastry. From there it was almost too easy to dream up these cute, little Nutella parcels. I mean, come on, Nutella in pastry you guys! Yup, yup. Sounded like a match made in heaven to me.
If you haven’t heard of hand pies, then you’ve been missing out. They are exactly what they sound like – cute little pies you can hold in one hand (aka perfect as dessert finger food) and can be made with a wide range of fillings. Mine have both Nutella and crushed hazelnuts and it’s that perfect combo of soft centre with some added crunch that takes these over the top.
My favourite pastry EVER!
If you’ve read many of my pie posts, you will know doubt already know the pastry I’m speaking of. It’s based on this recipe by Melissa D’Arabian that I’ve just slightly adjusted in scale and added some sugar.
I love making this pastry. It takes barely any time to put together and turns out so perfectly EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It’s almost as if the less attention you give it the better. You need to get into the cruel-to-be-kind mindset and not mess with the dough too much, and the less time you spend on it, (generally) the better it turns out.
There are a few guidelines to stick to and then you’re set.
- Use all your ingredients COLD, straight from the fridge – I’ll often put my butter in the freezer while I’m weighing out the flour and in Summer, I’ll even put the flour in the freezer for 15 minutes before proceeding.
- Don’t pulse for too long in the processor – you want it to look crumbly, not like a solid dough.
- Use your hands as little as possible – just gently press the processed dough so that it holds together, flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap before the next step.
- Make sure to place the dough in the fridge for half an hour before rolling it out. This gives that all important butter some time to get nice and cold again.
- Move quickly (especially in warmer weather) – This pastry is the work of mere minutes.I swear. The whole objective is to keep everything as cold as possible so move quickly and confidently and get it back in the fridge. In 5 minutes you’ll have dough resting waiting for it’s delicious filling.
Minimal ingredients = minimal time and effort
Now that we’ve covered off the important stuff there are just a couple of ingredients left
- Nutella (duh) ?
- Crushed hazelnuts
- A beaten egg (to brush over the top)
- Demerara sugar
The sugar at the end just gives it a nice little sweet, crunchy finish. I love how those little golden sugar crystals keep their shape and shine. Like little jewel toppings.
You could finish these off with a drizzle of chocolate but by the time these came out of the oven smelling so, so good, there was no way I was waiting for melted chocolate to set. These pies don’t need anything else (except maybe a cuppa and a comfy chair).
There are a whole slew of yummy Nutella treats out there but these Nutella Hand Pies are an absolute must for you to try. You need to get on these mini Nutella pies right now.
For the pastry: (see notes)
- 115 g 1 stick / ½ cup unsalted butter cubed and chilled
- 150 g 1 cup + 1 tablespoon plain (AP) flour
- 2 tablespoons caster / granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
- 15 teaspoons Nutella - 1 per pie
- 30 hazelnuts - crushed (approx. 2 per pie)
- 1 egg - beaten
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
To make the pastry:
- Place the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until it looks like wet sand. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse between each until the dough just starts clumping together. Turn the dough out onto a board and just gently pull it together – don’t knead it too much (see notes)
- Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Preheat the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 395F / 180C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 3mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 30 shapes (simple shapes are easiest to seal). Lay the shapes on the baking trays and put them back in the fridge to firm up again about 10 minutes is enough.
Assemble the pies:
- Take one baking tray out and leave the other in the fridge to stay cold.
- Put 1 teaspoon of Nutella into the centre of one of the shapes. Sprinkle about 2 hazelnuts worth of pieces over the top of the Nutella.
- With your finger, run a light line of water around the edge of the pastry shape. Place another piece over the top and press down lightly around the edge. Press down with a fork around the edge to crimp and seal the 2 pieces of pastry together. It may stretch at the edge but that’s ok, just be as gentle as you can and then use the cookie cutter again to remove excess dough and neaten the edge.
- Use the fork just once to poke holes in top.
- Repeat with remaining pastry pieces.
- Brush the tops with beaten egg then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equiv. 4 teaspoons everywhere)
- If you don’t feel like making your own pastry, you could use store bought sweet puff pastry.
- Once you turn the dough out onto a board you don’t want to knead it too much or you will cause the butter to melt. The crispiest results will come from keeping the dough as cold as possible at all times before baking.
- Tip: When baking, if weights are provided it is best to weigh out your ingredients. For instance, a cup of flour scooped out of your tub will always weigh much more than a standard cup (130g) as the flour gets compacted as you scoop. Similarly, a cup of brown sugar will weigh less when scooped than if firmly packed as most recipes call for. If you can’t get hold of kitchen scales, use the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour out of your tub into the cup measure, then without tapping, use the back of a knife to level it off. Kitchen scales are very affordable and invaluable when wanting to get perfect baking results.