October 29, 2020 6 Comments
This recipe comes courtesy of Oaktown Spice Shop Castro Valley Manager Charlotte Oelerich.
We love empanadas in my household, and what’s not to love? The buttery crunch of pastry, your favorite fillings, they're not too big, but small enough that you can eat two (or more...), and still feel good about it! You can even get away with whipping up a batch of cream, and dunking these lovelies!
To help you celebrate Día de los Muertos, I chose sweet potatoes as a perfect autumnal filling, but you could also select pumpkin or butternut squash. I paired those with some of my all-time favorite warming spices, and used the caramel flavor of Piloncillo for some sugary deliciousness. My seven-year old assures me that they are better than she expected, and wonders when we will make more!
They fill me with childhood memories of baking with my Grandma, a time to relish her homemade food; while remembering the flavors of cinnamon, ginger and cloves that would fill her small farm kitchen.
The final blend of sweet potato, Piloncillo, cinnamon, anise, cloves, ginger and a sparkle of nutmeg will give you and yours a big, warm hug with time to remember all the family and friends who have been there to spice up your life.
Note: If you can't find piloncillo, you can substitute dark brown sugar.
Sweet Potato Empanadas
Makes 12 empanadas.
Prepare the dough: Let the yeast and warm milk sit for 5 minutes. Mix all other ingredients. Add the yeast/milk mixture. Knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth. Let the dough rest in a covered oiled bowl for 1 ½ hours.
Here's an alternative, quicker dough if desired.
1-2 teaspoons whole anise seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt (I used Hawaiian red)
¼ cup sugar
1 stick of cold butter, cut into cubes
Boil 1 cup of water for 1 minute with 1-2 teaspoons of anise seeds, and a cinnamon stick. Use a sieve to filter out seeds and cinnamon. Save water. Use a food processor to pulse together the dry ingredients. Add the saved water 2 tablespoons at a time. You will not use all the water.
When the dough comes together, remove from the food processor and knead it for 2-3 minutes. Let rest under plastic wrap for 5-10 minutes. Divide into 12 balls and cover with plastic wrap.
Roll each into 7” circle. Add ¼ cup of sweet potato filling. Fold over into a half-moon shape. Crimp the edge with a fork. Follow the directions above to add the egg wash and spiced sugar topping. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!
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