A few weeks ago some of the gals on the team made cheese empanadas with Celia, a dear grandmother who has adopted us as her own. She has a slightly different recipe than the one I’ve posted before, so I thought I’d share! These empanadas aren’t quite as biscuit-like as the other recipe, but other than that they’re about the same.
Empanadas de Queso (Cheese Empanadas)
Makes about 50 empanadas
- 8 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 4 Tbsp baking powder
(Baking powder should be decreased to 3 Tbsp if you are baking at high altitude)
- 3/4 cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 cups milk
- shredded cheese, 3-4 cups
Any cheese that melts well should work, use what you prefer. Note that the amount of cheese is a guess, we didn’t measure what we used.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs and oil. Begin mixing, incorporating the flour mixture into the liquid little by little. When the egg/oil mixture is mixed in, add milk little by little until the dough is soft and moist. It may feel a little sticky, but shouldn’t be too sticky.
Separate dough into balls approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter, you should have about 50 of them. Roll each ball into an oval and place cheese on one end of the oval. Fold the other side of the dough over to make a semi-circle. Using your palm, press down on the empanada to get rid of any air pockets inside.
Press the edges of the empanadas together with your fingers and use the tines of a fork to make little lines all the way around and keep the dough together, as shown in the picture:
Bake ~20 minutes in a hot oven (I don’t have a temperature, but assume 350F will work well) until empanadas are golden brown.
My Challenge to You!
In Bolivia, empanadas are not finished with a fork they way I have shown in my recipes. The reason why I give an alternative method is because I have found it rather difficult to get the pretty finished edge just by pinching and turning the dough. But, I thought I would share how to do it and see if anybody can figure it out!
- Holding the empanada in your left hand (for all of you right handed people) with the flat side away from you, pinch the edge of the upper right corner between your thumb and forefinger.
- Twist/fold the dough over the top of the empanada.
- Pinch the bottom half of the fold you just made and the next little bit of un-pinched dough together.
- Twist/fold the dough over the top.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have gone all the way around the empanada. To finish it, fold the last little bit of dough underneath.
I hope my directions are clear… unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the process. I think the process is trickier than it looks, since those who have taught me how to do it learned when they were 8 years old and can do it like it’s the easiest thing in the world. I’m just happy when my empanadas look like I have a clue of what I’m doing!