Although Valentine’s Day has come and went, I still wanted to start off with this treat I made for the occasion. I came across this recipe on Pinterest and immediately wanted to give it a try. I love empanadas and these dessert ones looked divine!
I did switch some things around so I have attached the original recipe: Laylita’s Chocolate Dulce de Leche Empanadas. She also has a whole section of empanadas that made my mouth water! However, before I got ahead of myself, I needed to try making ones first.
This recipe isn’t without challenges. My first road block to making these chocolately delights was when I was gathering the ingredients. My local supermarket does not carry Dulce de Leche. I have come across multiple recipes to make my own, but all were time-consuming. I am all for trying something new, obviously, but I didn’t want to get in over my head. So I settled for baking caramels and peanut butter and chocolate chips.
I also have been dabbling with coconut oil. From my research, it is a good substitute for butter for baked goods (it is a one to one ratio). The coconut oil may have slightly changed the consistency of the dough, and it did affect the taste of the empanadas. It did not taste like coconut but, in my opinion, but brought out the other ingredients.
Now, Laylita puts everything in a food processor which is great, if you have a big food processor. Since I was not in possession of one, I put everything in a mixer. Once everything was combined, I did break up the dough and pulverized it in the processor prior to putting the dough in the fridge which is make the dough a little less crumbly.
Rolling out the dough was a bit complicated because the dough did still break apart. She suggested to lightly flour the surface and rolling pin, but the dough still stuck to the rolling pin. I also didn’t have a regular cookie cutter, definitely did not have a heart shaped one (also, not provided by my local grocer and I wasn’t in the mood to run to Michaels). So I just used a small bowl which was fine, and after some work, I was able to get some small disks good enough to use. I transferred the small disks onto cookie sheets using Silpats instead of waxed paper. I swear by these things which you can purchase a Bed, Bath and Beyond. They are amazing and I use them all the time for macarons.
I cut the baking caramels into fours which was easier to fold the dough over rather than leaving them whole, and placed some chips around the caramels. Fold over the dough, pinch around the edges, then use a fork. The dough is extremely fragile so you have to be careful. They are in and out of the oven within 20 minutes and take a couple of mintues to cool.
They are better when eaten warm and it is suggested to have a glass of milk near by or consumed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 3 cups flour (all purpose)
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder, dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 6 TBS of milk
- 1 package of baking caramels
- 1 package of peanut butter, chocolate chips
- sprinkle confectionary sugar
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream
- Place all the dry ingredients in the mixer: flour, sugar, dark cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and mix well
- Add the coconut oil and mix until well incorporated
- Add the eggs and 4 TBS of milk, and mix until the dough becomes clumpy. Add the additional TBS if needed.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and pulverize in the food processor for a few minutes. Remove from the processor and knead the dough a couple of times.
- Form dough into 2 balls, flatten into two thick disks, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a thin sheet.
- Cut out round discs and place on a cookie sheet using waxed paper or Silpats.
- Cut the baking caramels into fours, and place 3 or 4 pieces in the center of the disc then place a few peanut butter and chocolate chips closely around the caramels.
- Fold the empanadas and seal the edges with your fingers, then use a fork to further seal the edges.
- Chill the empanadas for 30 minutes or until ready to bake, to further seal the empanadas.
- Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes. Some of the insides may leak out . The empanadas are best served warm and can be garnished with cinnamon or confectionary sugar.