Heart-Shaped Strawberry Empanadas

children and empanadas

Happy Valentines Day! Do you have any romantic plans? Every year my hubby and I stay home (with children) and cook up a steakhouse style dinner or crab leg dinner feast. It’s a tradition, but this year we are breaking tradition and actually spending a romantic weekend away – just the two of us. My mom, “abuela” is in town and my son and daughter are thrilled to have her here while we are away, but they are not pleased that we are spending the holiday without them, so I have been feeling a tad guilty.

strawberry heart-empanada

I recently wrote an article on Parade.com about Heart-Shaped Treats for Your Valentine and came up with an idea. Although my hubby and I will be out of town I decided to play cupid and leave “our hearts” behind to let them know we will always be with them, even when we are away.

strawberry preserves

heart-shaped emapanadas

children and empanadas valentines day

These clever heart-shaped empanadas are filled with strawberries slowly simmered in piloncillo. The preserves are sweet but not overly sweet making these flaky baked empanadas delicious and comforting. I have a feeling our children and abuela will enjoy them all weekend.

valentines day sweets

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Heart-Shaped Strawberry Empanadas

Yield: Makes 18 empanadas

These clever heart-shaped empanadas are filled with strawberries slowly simmered in piloncillo. The preserves are sweet but not overly sweet making these flaky baked empanadas delicious and comforting.

Ingredients:

Strawberry Preserves:
¼ cup water
1 (8-ounce) piloncillo (unrefined sugar) or 1 cup packed brown sugar
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/8 teaspoon salt

Empanada Dough:
½ cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 eggs
½ cup milk

Directions:

Make Preserves:
In a small saucepan add water and piloncillo over low heat. Sugar will burn quickly so be sure to have on low heat and consistently stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved.

Combine the strawberries, melted piloncillo, lime zest, lime juice, and salt in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove most of the liquid (about 1 ½ to 2 cups) and with a potato masher coarsely mash strawberries.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until thickened for at least two hours.

Make Empanada Dough:
In a stand mixer cream the butter and shortening. Then combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and milk and add to dough mixture until you have a soft dough. Remove dough from mixer and add flour to dough if sticky. Split the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Assemble and Bake Empanadas:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

On lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts using 3 ½ to 4-inch heart cookie cutters.

To make sandwich hearts: On bottom heart, wet with water and then add a small amount with preserves. Cover with a second heart and seal off the edges with a fork by pressing down along the edges.

This also makes for a pretty pattern when baked.

Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush each empanada with an egg white wash. Puncture two slits on the top of each empanada with a knife to allow steam to escape while baking.

Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray; place the empanadas on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes on middle rack in the oven. If after 12 minutes you notice the bottoms of the empanadas starting to brown, move the cookie sheet and set oven to broil and bake for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown.

Optional: Drizzle melted dark chocolate on heart-shaped strawberry slices and adorn empanadas.

Enjoy the empanadas warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate baked empanadas for a few days. Reheat in a toaster oven or bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

More recipes available at www.muybuenocookbook.com

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Written by Yvette / Photos by Yvette

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8 Responses to “Heart-Shaped Strawberry Empanadas”

  1. 1
    Yolanda — February 14, 2014 @ 6:52 am

    I know what you mean about the guilt. My children usually celebrate Valentine’s day with my husband and me also, but this year we are going out alone. I think it’s ok though because to be good parents we must first be good spouses. I love your blog. I made your pumpkin empanadas around Christmas and my husband still talks about how much he liked them. I also have your cookbook on my Kindle. Many of the pictures and recipes remind me of my grandmother who passed away ten years ago. Thank you for bringing back memories of her to me.

  2. 2
    Kristin — February 14, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    Yumm these sound delish I can’t wait to make them =)

  3. 3
    margo — February 14, 2014 @ 11:21 am

    These empanadas look delicious! Can’t wait to try them. Your children are beautiful!

  4. 4
    Holly — February 14, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    These look wonderful and I am sure your sweet children will enjoy them. What an adorable photo! Have a good weekend away!

  5. 5
    Eliana Tardio — February 14, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

    aww, your kids are so sweet and these empanadas looks delicious!

  6. 6
    Carolina Garcia-Johnson — February 14, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

    The kids are absolutely beautiful! Have a great VD celebration. These empanadas look muy yummy!

  7. 7
    Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ — February 17, 2014 @ 11:29 pm

    What a sweet thing to do for them while you were away! I’m sure they’ll learn how to appreciate mom and dad alone time! :)

  8. 8
    California Strawberries — February 20, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

    So cute! We love these!

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