Sugar Rush: Dessert Empanadas at Nonna's Empanadas of the World, Los Angeles, CA

[Photograph: Tracy Chabala]

When I first stopped by Nonna's Empanadas of the World, I was totally caught off guard by their selection of sweet offerings. I knew they sold over 15 varieties of the savory pan Latin hot pocket, but I was delightfully surprised by their display case devoted solely to the sugary stuff, with options including Nutella and Oreo, Chocolate and Dulce de Leche, Banana and Dulce de Leche and Apple Cinnamon, to name only a few.

The Nutella and Oreo—pretty much just straight-up Nutella mixed with pulverized Oreos—was a serious sugar bomb, but the doughy exterior (baked, not fried) cut through some of its sweetness, rendering it not only palatable but also quite delicious. The Banana and Dulce de Leche empanada was of equal delectability, less sweet, and with a more satiating texture thanks to the big chunks of fresh bananas. And it is worth noting the divine freshness of Nonna's empanada dough, which gives it a light and tender chew.

None of the options skimped on filling; they were puffed up and packed full of sugary interior, the dough-to-filling ratios all very well-balanced (a real must when it comes to empanadas in my book). I would have liked to try the Cream Cheese and Dulce de Leche, but alas, they were all sold out.

The sweet hot pockets go for $3.95 a pop, and you can take them to go or savor them leisurely on the sidewalk patio. Anyone with a love of empanadas and sugar should definitely give these a try.

Nonna's Empanadas of the World
8570 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, California 90048 (map)

212-614-0473; nonnasempanadas.com

About the author: Tracy Chabala is a nascent food writer, sugar addict, and pastry cook at Lucques in West Hollywood, CA.

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