Not too long ago I heard of the idea that being busy is nothing to brag about because it often times can mean that we aren’t taking the time to savor the moment, live in the present or smell those roses. I’m as guilty as the next for playing the “I’m SO busy” card, and while I have gotten slightly better over the years…I’ve got a long way to go. I’m out of town this weekend for Frites’ wedding in Estes Park and come home to a week of work, work, work and fun, fun, fun. So busy.
So busy, but I always make time for dessert. Duh. The sweet tooth rules my life. Even if it doesn’t rule yours, there’s always time berries and chocolate and cheese. Roll them all into one and that’s what I’ve got for you today thanks to some prompting from The Daily Meal and Driscoll’s raspberries.
Despite appearances lately, I have not yet abandoned South America. To prove it to you, empanadas. Dessert empanadas. Filled with the aforementioned berries, chocolate and cheese.
First, a little history: Empanadas are popular throughout Latin America, but are thought to have originated in Spain’s Galicia region. As their popularity spread, each region tweaked the original recipe to suit their own purposes and now, from the recipes I’ve seen, there doesn’t seem to be a standard filling. For more on empanadas, check out this nifty site.
Today’s recipe base comes from Escarole, who did the study abroad thing in Bolivia. During her time there, she had the good fortune to live with a host family, and the recipe on which today’s is based comes straight from her handwritten journal. I was actually surprised that her dough recipe was so sweet-almost like cookie dough. That’s not entirely accurate, but anyway, I could definitely taste the sugar. Further proof that these needed to be sweet rather than savory.
When I talked to her, Escarole described the traditional cheese filling to be unlike any cheese that she’s been able to find in the States, but suspected burrata would be the closest U.S. counterpart. I found some wonky mascarpone stuffed burrata, which sounded cool and delicious and so I used that. I mixed that awesomeness with vanilla, orange zest and some raspberries macerated in Grand Marnier and sugar. Aaand chocolate chips.
I know you love me.
I’ve always shied away from making empanadas because the task seemed a bit arduous. Also, meat pies aren’t really my jam- I went a whole 5 months living in London without eating one pasty. And you know my aversion to fruit in desserts. BUT- the spice of life (and this blog) is trying new things and making things I’d never otherwise make. So, I did, and I will admit that they came out really good. Egg on my face, and I can’t wait to serve them for something a little bit different at my next gathering.
While my original idea for a chocolate drizzle would have been muy bueno, I opted for whipped cream because it’s my lifeblood. Do as you choose.
And because I had extra dough, I filled a few with chorizo spiced sweet potatoes because life can’t be all sweets. Though…it should be.
- 2 cups flour (plus a bit more for consistency and rolling the dough)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 TB baking powder
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 TB milk (optional)
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- Splash of Grand Marnier
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 8 ounces burrata or mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 TB turbinado sugar (granulated also works)
- Whipped cream, to serve
- In a small bowl, combine the raspberries, Grand Marnier and 1 tsp sugar. Set aside.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter into a bowl (or, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade). Pulse (or mix the butter in by rubbing it in) so that the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the 2 eggs and mix. Add the salt, and a little milk if the mixture is too dry. Fold in a little flour so that the dough is dry again, but not crumbly. Cover and let rise about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Drain the raspberries and shake dry. To them, add the cheese, zest, vanilla, chocolate chips and 1 tsp sugar and mix well, smashing the raspberries a bit along the way.
- Divide the dough into balls about the size in between a golf ball and a tennis ball. Roll out the balls and use a cutter or bowl about 5” in diameter to make them even sized. Scoop a rounded tablespoon of filling into each round, being careful not to overfill. Line the edge of the circle with the beaten egg and fold it in half. Seal off the edges with a fork (or pinching and sealing) and set on a parchment lined pan. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.
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