This past weekend I was asked to consult on a dessert gift for someone and the requirements were that it had to be a “comfort” dessert like a pie and not something too refined or fancy-pants, like a opera cake or Napoleon. Another desired attribute was that the dessert come from a “known” bakery or pastry chef. I immediately thought of [everyone's favorite pasty chef] Karen DeMasco at Locanda Verde. The best part about that recommendation is that you can easily swing by and pick a few items, such as mini-pies, from the bakery counter.
The gift buyer took my advice and picked up two strawberry-rhubarb mini-pies, a strawberry scone and a set of Nutella cookies. The mini-pies are always a crowd pleaser because most people like a good pie–and the people who don’t, often like pastry and the mini pies satisfy both those preferences. Their crust is flaky and perfect and they’re easy to eat. The rhubarb filling isn’t too sweet so it goes nicely with the glazed outer crust. Hopefully, the chef won’t hate me for saying this but they kind of remind me of Hostess fruit pies from my youth but with real ingredients!
The Nutella cookies are just what they sound like. But I think the hazelnut chocolate spread is house-made.