Empanadas dulces (sweet empanaditas) are the perfect companion to a cup of coffee, an afternoon treat, and also as a buffet favorite.
Why we ❤️ it
You would think that because I post recipes for desserts so frequently it must mean that I have a sweet tooth. The answer to that is yes... and no. My favorite desserts always have "surprising" elements beyond just sweet. Sometimes it's a bit of saltiness, sometimes it's sourness, sometimes it's spices.
They have to have complex flavors, or a mysterious ingredient, like the French would say: an "I don't know what" (only they say in French).
Why this works
The reason why this dessert works for me is that the dough doesn't have any sugar. It takes a few milliseconds for the sweetness to hit our brains. I like the contrast in tastes and the contrast between the crispy shell and the creamy filling.
For this recipe, any sweet jam or sweet paste works. I suggest these:
- Chopped pitted dates (you can see it in one of the pictures)
- Guava marmalade
- Pineapple jam
- Dulce de leche (milk caramel)
- Strawberry jam (in the picture, I bought a jar)
- Preserves of your choice
Wanna make it even more interesting? Add a dice of sharp Cheddar or Muenster cheese to the guava ones. Crazy good!
If you are vegan or are looking for a lighter option, the dough for this no-butter baked empanada can be easily turned into a vegan version, and there is a vegan substitute for the egg wash in the notes.
About this recipe
These baked empanaditas are actually surprisingly easy to make, with a pastry dough that is very forgiving.
This recipe yields 6 portions, about 2 empanaditas per person.
Empanaditas Dulces (Fruit Jam Turnovers) Recipe
To make the dough
- ¾ cup filling, of your choice, see above the recipe
- 4 tablespoons powdered white sugar
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- Making the dough: In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda ) until well-combined. Place the flour mixture in the food processor. Add the butter to the mixture, and pulse until it has small clumps of butter the size of lentils. Return to the bowl.Pour in one of the yolks and cold water. Mix with a spatula until everything has been made into a ball. Knead lightly by hand for about 15 seconds. Make into a ball, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 20 minutes. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner.
- Making the empanaditas: Once the dough is chilled, whisk the remaining yolk and milk to make an egg wash. Set it aside.Divide the dough into 6 equally-sized balls. Using a rolling pin spread one ball at a time to obtain a thin layer. Cut circles with a round 5-inch cookie cutter [12 centimeters], or something of similar size.
- Stuffing the empanaditas: Spoon a dollop of filling in the center of each round. Dab a tiny bit of water on the inside edges of dough with a damp fingertip, then fold. Press edges with the tines of a fork, or empanada press. Repeat with the remaining dough. If your kitchen is very warm, work fast so the butter in the dough doesn't melt completely.
- Baking: Place empanaditas on the prepared cookie sheet, and paint them with the yolk wash. Return to the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 300ºF [150 ºC].Once the oven is at temperature, bake the empanaditas for 20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.Remove them from the oven and place them on a wire tray to cool.
- Serving: Once cooled to room temperature, powder them with fine sugar and serve at room temperature.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.