Holiday Favorites (Nutella and Orange Puff Pastry & Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie)

A chocolate lovers’ holiday: Nutella and Orange Puff Pastry and Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie

Traditions are a prominent part of the holiday season. They’re that little sparkle of magic that signals, “Oh, yes. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.” Some families hide a pickle in their Christmas tree, some wear matching plaid pajamas, some do Advent calendars for their dogs, while others pull their hair out trying to find a new spot for a tiny red-clothed elf. Every family has traditions and (nearly) every family loves them. 

Food and traditions often go hand in hand, so for this week’s post we decided to share some of our own favorite traditions…and by traditions, we do mean recipes. We hope you like chocolate, because buckle up, buttercup, both of our favorite holiday recipes turned out to be gooey, melt-in-your-mouth, chocolate desserts!

Let it snow!

Nutella & Orange Puff Pastry (Cat’s Choice)

There’s a reason kids love dino nuggets, and it’s not just because they have an undeniably tastier crunch. It’s because they’re shaped, and anything that’s a fun shape is inherently more festive and more enjoyable than it’s boring square or circle counterpart. That’s why we think this snowflake-shaped puff pastry would be the most fitting centerpiece for your dessert table this Christmas.

The Process

The recipe came from Natalie over at Life Made Simple, and it’s just five ingredients! First up, you cut your puff pastry into two equivalent circles and spread Nutella over the bottom circle. There’s no exact measurement, but be generous! Then, sprinkle the orange zest on top. Top it with the next layer of puff pastry and you’re ready to start creating the shape. 

The easiest way we found to do it is to put a cup in the middle of the pastry as a guide, then to cut outwards from there, first into fourths, then eighths, then sixteenths. To form the shape, take two pieces that lie beside each other and twist them away from each other three times, then pinch the tops together to create a point. Repeat this all the way around. Cool the whole thing down in an egg wash and voila! Ready for the oven. 

Into the oven she goes!

The Results

After 25 minutes at 375, your snowflake will be puffed up, golden, and gorgeous. Don’t waste any time–eat it while it’s hot! It is snoo flakey. Get it, snowflake-y? Okay, all jokes aside, this dessert looks really complicated, but it’s probably the easiest one you’ll ever make. It looks and tastes incredible, and it’s sure to impress even the pickiest holiday partygoer.

Every snowflake is unique!

What should you know before you make a Nutella & Orange Puff Pastry?

  • You can use a cake pan and a knife to cut the puff pastry into two equivalent circles. It takes out all the guesswork!
  • The orange zest is a wonderful combo, but if you don’t like that flavor, don’t give up on this recipe. It’s optional!
  • You’ll probably have some scraps leftover. While you form the snowflake, keep those scraps covered with a towel so they don’t dry out. That way, when you finish, you can use those scraps to create little Nutella twists! They’re delicious, great for grab-and-go, and ensure that you don’t waste any of your ingredients!
What more could we ask for?

Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie (Mindy’s Choice)

This recipe is actually a family one. I (Mindy) grew up hearing about the famous Hershey Bar Pie my grandmother would make for my dad when he was growing up. After she passed away, I found a handwritten copy of the recipe and decided to try it out. Now, there are two occasions I pull it out for: Christmas and my dad’s birthday. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

The Process

Like the puff pastry, this recipe is simple and easy to make. Here it is:

Corn Flake Crust:
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 1 ½ cups finely-rolled cornflakes
  • 22 marshmallows
  • 16 ounces Hershey’s almond chocolate bar (slightly less than 4 XL bars)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ pint whipped cream (We use Cool Whip)

Put the marshmallows, chocolate, and milk in a double broiler and melt. If you don’t have a double broiler, you can use a deep pot but be sure to stir it constantly so the mixture doesn’t burn. Stir well and let cool. Add the cream to the chocolate mixture and pour into the crust to chill overnight. Sprinkle saved crumbs on top.

Mix thoroughly and press to the sides and bottom of the pie pan. Save a few to sprinkle on top of the pie.

Ready to cool overnight

The Results

This is my favorite dessert, hands down. The filling is rich (and incredible), so even one pie can serve quite a few people. What really makes this recipe, though, is the cornflake crust. It is so simple but that crunch really brings it to the next level and balances out the chocolate and marshmallows wonderfully.

Pie & Presents

What should you know before you make Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie?

  • You have options! This recipe is really pretty customizable, so, don’t like nuts? No problem, just use regular Hershey bars. Can’t find honey corn flakes? Use regular cornflakes and add ¼ cup of sugar. You can try dark chocolate, white chocolate, a mix.
  • An easy, no-mess way to crush the cornflakes is to put them in a gallon-sized bag, close it up, and gently roll over them with a rolling pin. Just make sure there’s minimal air in the bag so it doesn’t pop open when you run the rolling pin over top!
  • This pie is great for making ahead of time, since it needs to be chilled overnight anyway. The day before an event, whip it up and by the time you need it the following day you can just grab it and go, no additional steps.

When should you make both of these recipes?

We think holiday baking makes a great family tradition, one that you can start at any time. When is a better time to start a new at-home tradition than 2020? Either of these recipes would be an easy way to start that tradition, given that your family loves chocolate!

What are your family traditions? Do you have any favorite holiday recipes? We would love to hear all about them in the comments!

We’re taking a week off to celebrate the holidays next week, but we’ll see you back here the following Wednesday, December 30. Until then…Merry Christmas!

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