An empanada is basically a turnover. They are a classic item in the Hispanic culture and can be sweet or savory. Fillings range from fruit to meat and are a part of the holidays as well as a regular menu item in many Hispanic kitchens. Our granddaughter Ava is fortunate to have both German and Mexican heritage and we spent an afternoon keeping her connected with her 'latina side' by preparing empanadas to leave for Santa. The original recipe came from my Aunt Mercy's kitchen and I adapted it to decrease the fat content. I'm giving you both recipes so you can choose the one that best suites your taste.
All Purpose flour
cinnamon, sugar mix
your choice of fruit filling
Mercy's Marvelous Empanadas
(makes about 6 dz. mini-empanadas)
8 oz. cream cheese
4 sticks butter or margarine
Yvonne's Less Fatty Empanadas
(makes about 3 dz mini-empanadas)
1/2 c reduced fat cream cheese
1 stick butter
In a bowl, blend room-temperature cream cheese and butter together until well mixed. Next, add flour, about 1/2c at a time until you've used all the flour. Refrigerate for 2 hours. ( This is imperative with the original recipe. It will be sticky and hard to work with if you don't refrigerate.)
Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough out like a pie crust. The stem of a wine glass made it easy for little hands
to help with the work.
Spoon the filling ( about 1 t for a 4-5in. circle) in the center then fold over and use a fork to seal edges.( We used pineapple filling.) I recommend you brush the bottom edge with a little water to help the dough stick and prevent bursting open when heated.
Place in the oven @ 350 ˚for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle
with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and a perfect place to get to know each other better or iron out differences. We can share family history, build memories and if we allow ourselves, in the midst of mouth-watering aromas, make ourselves vulnerable to one another, leaving a Fingerprint in each others lives.