Winter Salon Sweets: Mini Nutella handpies and an intense dark chocolate tart / by Julie Schumacher

For each salon I like to try a few new things, hence the champagne marshmallow adventure. I also like to have a few sweets in my back pocket I know will turn out either because the recipe promises me success or because I've made it before.

For our winter party, I went with Nutella handpies for my promises, promises attempt. I love hazelnut and was looking at various recipes that featured it as a main ingredient. They were all very complicated and made me anxious. When Kelly mentioned using hazelnuts on one of the savories I figured it was time to look to my dear friend Nutella. Is there anything quite as awesome as Nutella?

I found this recipe for mini Nutella handpies that seemed so easy I felt almost guilty serving it. Two ingredients. Not gonna lie, I used pre-made dough in part because I wanted them to be the right thickness. A 2ish inch cookie cutter and a fork and I was in business. I was all jazz hands of excitement to share these tiny treasures and have made them three times since (in part because I bought a frightening amount of Nutella).

For a delicious known quantity I thought about the dark chocolate tart with gingersnap crust I've made countless times.

It's intense...there's a few good cracks of black pepper in there. Since another dish had crystallized ginger, I went with Smitten Kitchen's version. I usually serve it with homemade whipped cream but the last time I tried some for Forth it turned too soupy with transport. Folks would just have to relish the intensity and wash it down with a handpie!

If you need a chocolate fix, neither of these are hard or incredibly time consuming. Be forewarned that they are damn tasty so if your resolution is waist watching, you might want to invite a slew of friends over to divide and conquer.