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Chocolate Hand Pies

In Mystic Water most people enter the bakery with a purpose. They know exactly what they want: Oreo brownies, double chocolate chip cookies, morning glory muffins. But some people wander in with a far-off look in their eyes. Maybe you can relate. You’re searching but for what? This bakery has just what you need.

Since magic floats on the breeze in Mystic Water, nestled inside the cozy bakery from my magical realism novel The Baker's Man, you’ll find whimsy and enchantment are sprinkled into every treat. You’ll be invited into the cheerful, sweet-filled shop and offered a seat at the counter with its twinkling pink lights and pink confetti hearts still lingering from the recent holiday.

These chocolate surprise-filled hand pies are just what you need. The deep dark chocolate flavor of its brownie-like crust will warm you from the inside. Each pie is unique and hand-picked just for you. Fillings range from caramel, chocolate ganache, peanut butter, strawberry jam, Nutella, and fresh fruit. Whether you’re looking for comfort, laughter, rest, peace of mind, or happiness, there’s already a pie with your name on it.

Chocolate Hand Pies

Prep Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Makes: 14 3-inch hand pies


For dough:

2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, very cold and cubed

1/2 cup cold heavy cream, plus more as needed

egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon heavy cream

optional: 2 Tablespoons coarse sugar for topping

Options for filling:

1 Tablespoon peanut butter, Nutella, jam, chocolate ganache, or other favorite

How to Make

1. Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and cubed butter into a food processor. Pulse 15-20 times until coarse crumbs form.

2. Slowly drizzle in the cold cream while pulsing. After all the cream is added, the dough should look slightly shaggy and be a little soft. If it’s too dry, add another Tablespoon of cream. Try not to overwork the dough.

3. Divide the dough in half and form each into 1-inch thick discs. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 5 days. Don’t skip this!

4. On a floured (AP flour or cocoa powder) work surface carefully roll out each pie dough with a rolling pin. Cut into heart shapes. Re-roll any scraps. Refrigerate the hearts for 10–15 minutes.

5. Choose your fillings.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).

7. Remove the hearts from the refrigerator. Arrange on 2 large baking sheets if you haven’t done so already. Brush the edges of half of the hearts with egg wash. Add a Tablespoon of filling on top of half of the hearts. Top with another heart (lightly stretch the top heart slightly if needed to cover). Press down the top edges to seal, then use a fork to crimp the sides to completely seal. Brush the top of each hand pie with egg wash. Top with coarse sugar, if desired.

8. Bake the hand pies for 15–18 minutes, just until the edges are set. The tops of the hand pies may look a little soft. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before drizzling with chocolate, decorating with sprinkles, and serving.

9. Cover and store leftover hand pies at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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