Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Heart Shaped Empanadas de Cajeta

I'm finally putting out a Valentines themed recipe! Phew...
Is it just me or is this year whizzing by? What happened to January? And we all know February is already a short month....
I had all of these grand ideas for Valentines recipes until our entire family came down with the cold/flu. If your family hasnt gotten it yet... Watch out! (And be grateful!)

But if you are looking for a fun recipe, out of the typical pink, sparkly, and chocolate covered stuff... This recipe is for you!

Cajeta simply means caramel, I used a can of thick dolce de leche in this case, and its sandwiched perfectly in between flaky layers of creamy-buttery crust. Plus, they are so cute and tiny they would be the perfect addition to a Valentines basket or as a homemade Valentines treat for your little ones class!

Lets get this party started.... And Happy Valentines Day y'all!

For the Crust:
2 sticks, unsalted butter softened
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg lightly beatened with 1 teaspoon water
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 can/jar cajeta

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Scrape down the sides to full incorporate. Add in the flour and salt and mix well. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and gently knead, 6-8 times, until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 1/8-inch thickness. Use your desired cookie cutter to make the empanadas. If you want a heart shaped, you will need 2 heart shaped pieces (1 top and 1 bottom) otherwise if you are simply using a circle, you can fold in half for the typical empanada shape. Place the empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place a small amount of cararamel in the middle of your dough and place another heart on top. Crimp the edges together with your fingers and then scallop with a fork to make sure it is sealed well.

Place your empanadas in the refrigerator for 20 minutes (this helps prevent leakage). Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove from the fridge and brush with your egg-water mixture. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and 2 Tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle generously over the empanadas.
Bake the empanadas in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until they are golden and cooked through.

Cool slightly on a baking rack! These are best enjoyed warm but are just as good the next day!

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