Category Archives: Baking

Mexican Style Sweet Empanadas~ Pineapple Apple- Toasted Coconut

You know the term “If it’s not broken, why fix it”? For many years I enjoyed the luxury of my Mom’s homemade Mexican style empanadas. Filled with pumpkin, pineapple and cajeta (dulce de leche). I know the dough recipe had few ingredients and that it had the texture of a more dense version of pie dough. By the time I wanted to learn her recipe, I had married and moved a thousand miles away. Mom had recipes written down, but finding them was a different task all together. My first attempts at re-creating her version was not the best. Then for many years I was preparing empanadas with a recipe my tia from Mexico shared with us. One of the main ingredients was beer?  And why not beer? Beer is great for baking breads, why not an empanada. At first I strictly used that recipe for savory empanadas. Then one day I just went for it and prepared a batch of beer dough and filled it with freshly sliced fruit, dark chocolate chips and dulce de leche caramel. Wow! For a few years I became an expert at that recipe filling it with all kinds of fillings, both sweet and savory. I think that it works for both as I  only use a light beer in the dough recipe so it’s not too strong once  baked.

Mexican style sweet empanadas filled with pineapple, apple and toasted coconut. Just add coffee or tea!
Mexican style sweet empanadas filled with pineapple, apple and toasted coconut. Just add coffee or tea!

By 2009, I had lost both of my parents and with that the hopes of having my Mom show me how she prepared her recipe hands on.  In 2011 I was blessed with a return trip to Monterrey, Mexico to visit family. And fortunate for me, I am blessed to still have my Mom’s sisters, three of which live in Monterrey and can bake like nobody’s business! Lol! While I was there I stayed with my tia Miné and we spent many hours cooking together. It was because of those times, that I am no longer afraid to cook using my pressure cooker, ha, ha, ha! I love it! My tia prepared a batch of sweet empanadas with that dough, that dough recipe that I so longed for and wanted to learn all about it. And I did. I came home from Mexico, just off the plane, jet lagged and all and no sooner got back into my kitchen and prepared some empanadas with what I had learned. My tia’s measurements, much like my Mom’s were never quite exact, old school cooking at it’s best! So, as I went along, I experimented with the recipe now and them. I was always happy with the results after baking the empanadas, but the dough itself just was not that easy to work with when filling and sealing.

Fresh fruit filling prepared from scratch
Fresh fruit filling prepared from scratch

Finally, just a few weeks ago, I experimenting one more time. This is it! I love the results of this dough. You still have to be gentle when handling it, but it works much better. I had less cracks while it was baking and they stayed intact. I make it sound like all the other tries simply fell apart, lol! They didn’t, but they just did not look as nice as my tia’s empanadas. They were beautiful even before I baked them.

I was never completely convinced about the empanada dough recipe I had learned a couple of years back, so I kept trying until I found one that I was very happy with!
I was never completely convinced about the empanada dough recipe I had learned a couple of years back, so I kept trying until I developed one that I was very happy with!

Revised Empanada Dough Recipe

*For Sweet Baked Empanadas

Ingredients

3 cups bread flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
~~~~
1/2 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup shortening
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds

You will also need
3 cups of filling. It should be thick and not runny at all.
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

This is my newest mix for empanada filling. Fresh pineapple, tart apples and toasted unsweetened coconut. Tasty!!
This is my newest mix for empanada filling. Fresh pineapple, tart apples and toasted unsweetened coconut. Tasty!!

Pineapple, Apple and Toasted Coconut Filling

4 cups pineapple, finely diced
2 cups tart apple, finely diced
1 cup brown sugar or piloncillo
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
* make a slurry of cornstarch and water. Mix until smooth.

Directions For Filling

Add all of the ingredients to a skillet, minus the cornstarch and water. Heat to medium. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for a good 40 to 50 minutes. Taste for sugar along the way. Once it has broken down and reduced, whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Cook for 5 more minutes.  You know your filling is thick enough when you can run a spatula down the center of pan and it stays on either side of pan without running back to the middle. Remove from heat and let cool. This recipe is enough for about 40 small empanadas more or less. Freeze leftover filling in a heavy freezer bag.

*You can use this same formula to make the filling using a variety of fresh fruits, such as mango, pears, blueberries, raspberries….. You can search my blog for different variations to empanada recipes.

I really enjoy mixing in different fruits to create a new flavor.
I really enjoy mixing in different fruits to create a new flavor. Pineapple, Apple and Toasted Coconut.

 

I thank God for giving me the opportunity to visit with my family in Mexico a few years back. I was able to re-discover some of my Mom's recipes which are family recipes.
I thank God for giving me the opportunity to visit with my family in Mexico a few years back. I was able to re-discover some of my Mom’s recipes which are family recipes.

Directions For Empanada Dough

1. Sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add 1 cup shortening and work in with hands or pastry cutter until you have small crumbles.

2. Heat the water for 3 minutes in the microwave. Add the sugar and anise seeds, stir until sugar has dissolved. To the flour mixture, mix in the egg until well incorporated. Gradually add in the water mixture  a little at a time until dough forms. You may not end up using all of the water. If it seems too dry, add a little more water as you knead dough for 5 minutes.

3. When ready, roll 24 dough balls. Place in bowl or on a plate, cover and let set for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Line a tortilla presse with a plastic storgae bag, cut down to size.

5. Before pressing dough ball, knead it for about 30 seconds and shape it back into a flat disc. Press one disc at a time to a 3 1/2 to 4 in circle. The edges will look slightly jagged. Fill with  about 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over, pinch edge and fold over. Do not over fill.  Do this all the way over the opening to seal. Bake for 30 minutes, then place under broiler to brown the tops a little. Just about 1 minute. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute. While they are still warm, gently dredge through cinnamon/sugar mix. Yields 24 small empanadas.

This version of dough was alittle easier to work with as far as molding and sealing the edges.
This version of dough was alittle easier to work with as far as molding and sealing the edges.

Favorite Cookie Recipes~ The Accidental Baker

I often wonder why many chefs or homecooks dislike baking. Is it because baking requires “attention to detail”, precise measurements, watching the oven, using every bowl, measuring cup and spoon????  And not to mention that sink full of dishes created all from one cookie recipe, lol! Ok, that may some good reasons. I too was one one those cooks who only baked out of necessity. Or maybe it was to see if the oven really worked. I much prefer the cooking experience over the baking experience, but the past few years I have come to really appreciate the baking as well. I find myself baking more often these days, especially since we gave up purchasing store bought baked goods. And this was a good way to avoid my better half from purchasing donuts once a week, ha, ha, ha! If your going to splurge on a few extra calories, bake it and cook it yourself. At least you know what’s going into it(mostly).My friend Denise would understand the “mostly” part, lol!  And in the end there  is a sense of satisfaction and always an opportunity to learn!

 

 

Lemon Coconut Soft Sugar 

Lemon Coconut Sugar Cookie

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut baking extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
Sprinkles

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a whisk or an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg, extracts and lemon juice and mix well.

2. Gradually add in the dry ingredients. Using a small cookie scoop, place onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Using your finger, slightly flatten cookie and add sprinkles. Makes about 15 medium cookies. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

 

Spiced Iced Oatmeal & Raisin 

Spiced Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Spiced Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups oatmeal (old fashioned oats)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar or regular sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1 full cup raisins
1/3 cup toffee bits, optional

For Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons warm water
Zest of 1 orange

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and spices. In another bowl, cream together the butter, and both sugars. Mix in one egg at a time, them mix in molasses and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until well combined. Fold in the raisins.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a scoop or two spoons, drop 12 cookies onto each baking sheet. Flatten slightly and top each cookie with some toffee bits. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until bottom edges start to turn golden. I like to rotate pans halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

3. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the icing until it’s smooth. Drizzle icing over cookies(sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon if you like) and cool until icing sets. Yields 24 large cookies.

 

Peanut Butter with Chocolate 

Peanu Butter Cookies

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
1 full cup wilburs peanut butter chips, plus more for topping
1 cup turbinado sugar
24 to 30 wilbur dark chocolate drops or kisses
Sea salt, optional

*Yields 24 to 30 cookies
*Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar until smooth.

2. Mix in the egg, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Gradually add in the flour. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Roll into balls, then roll into turbinado sugar and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until the edges turn slight golden brown.

3. As soon as they come out, gently add a chocolate piece to the center of each cookie. Then add a few extra peanut butter chips to the center. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt to taste. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

 

Espresso Chocolate Chip 

I love adding espresso powder to many of my desserts prepared with chocolate.
I love adding espresso powder to many of my desserts prepared with chocolate.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant espresso
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz. bag Ghirardelli bittersweet chips (60% Cacao)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

2. Combine the flour (both varieties), espresso, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream together the butter with both brown and granulated sugar until creamy. Mix in one egg at a time and vanilla.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls or cookie scoop 24 large cookie dough balls onto lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. You want the edges to just turn a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pan. Yields 24 large cookies.

Espresso Chocolate Chip
Espresso Chocolate Chip. Treated myself to one with the Hershey’s chocolate hazelnut spread.

 

Hojarascas  Mexican Cookies

I did not intend to add a Mexican style cookie to this post, but this is truly my favorite cookie for many special reasons.

Hojarascas

1 cup of vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. anise seeds or ground
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour
nonstick spray or parchment paper
cinnamon

Directions

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Combine shortening and 1/2 cup of sugar in bowl. Using a hand mixer, cream together until well blended. Beat in the anise and then the egg yolks until thoroughly blended. Reduce mixer speed to low and with the mixer running, add the orange juice, baking powder and finally the flour, mixing just long enough to work in the flour.

2. Spray or line cookie sheets. Now, you can either roll out dough and use your favorite cut outs(a heart is traditional) or roll little 1 inch balls and place them on the cookie sheets. Take the bottom of a glass and press cookies flat. Dip the bottom of glass in flour if it starts to stick.

3. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 11 to 13 minutes. While cookies are cooling, mix 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Carefully dip each cookie into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cool completely and store in airtight container

Variation: You can add finely crushed pecans to the cookie mix, makes a great cookie!!!

Hojarascas, a tradition from way back when...keeping the spirit of my family alive.
Hojarascas, a tradition from way back when…keeping the spirit of my family alive.

 

Pan Dulce~Favorite Mexican Bakery Treats

Today’s blog post is dedicated to Pan Dulce, Mexican sweet breads and cookies. Trips to la panaderia (mexican bakery) were a Sunday ritual in our house.  Warm bolillos, pan de huevo, cuernitos, marranitos, hojarascas and semitas  were just some of the tasty fresh baked goods to choose from. My first job was at a Mexican panaderia, El Mejor Pan Bakery in Houston, Texas. I learned all the names and still remember that distinct aroma of breads baking when I walked in the door to go to work. 
After getting married and moving to central New York, la panaderia, and all of it’s delicious treats soon became a distant memory. No Mexican bakeries for hundreds of miles, ha ha!! It soon became my quest to try and recreate some of the recipes I loved the most. And because of the popularity of Mexican food, there are many, many recipes being published. It’s a great trip down memory lane! My first entry is Polvorones de Nuez…
Polvorones de Nuez, also known as the Mexican Wedding Cookies when rolled round and dredged in powdered sugar. My Mom would prepare an almost identical version of this cookie, but we grew up knowing them as hojarascas. The flavors and textures are all the same. The original recipe was prepared with pork manteca (lard), but eventually my Mom switched over to vegetable shortening. For this recipe I used butter and saved my manteca for my carnitas instead, lol!
Polvorones also known as  Wedding Cookies when left round and rolled in powdered sugar.
Polvorones also known as Wedding Cookies when left round and rolled in powdered sugar.

2 sticks unsalted butter, shortening or the traditional lard…yes, lard…lol!
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/3 teaspoon anise seeds
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 full teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
2 cups all purpose flour

* 1 cup finely crushed pecans, optional

Polvorones remind me of the holidays, but they are a great cookie for anytime!
Polvorones remind me of the holidays, but they are a great cookie for anytime!

 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream the butter, add powdered sugar, anise, cinnamon, salt and vanilla bean paste. Mix until smooth and creamy. Gradually mix in the flour until dough forms. It will be crumbly. if adding pecans, add them in now and fold them in as best you can.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll 30 dough balls and divide between the two baking sheets. You could leave the polvorones round, or you could flatten them slightly as I did. I used the bottom of a glass.

3. Bake in preheated oven, one sheet at a time, for 13 to15 minutes, turning pan halfway through the baking time. This will help them bake more evenly.

4. If using sprinkles, they must go onto the cookies before baking. For cinnamon and sugar, gently dredge them in a mix of cinnamon/sugar while they are still slightly warm out of the oven. For powdered sugar, sift over cookies, or roll them in the powdered sugar once cooled. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Yields 30 cookies

 

Polvorenes~Galletas  Mexican Shortbread Cookies. Click onto picture for full recipe at the Hispanic Kitchen.

Polvorones Mexican Shortbread Cookies
Polvorones Mexican Shortbread Cookies

 

 

Empanadas de Manzana con Nuez y Pasas (Apple Pecan Raisin Empanadas)

Empanadas de Manzana con Nuez y Pasas
Empanadas de Manzana con Nuez y Pasas

For Dough
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground anise
1/2 cup shortening
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Pecan Raisin Filling
Apple Pecan Raisin Filling

 

For Apple Pecan Raisin Filling
5 cups granny smith apples, peeled and diced fine
(I like to mix in some cortland apples if available)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Apple Pecan Raisin Empanadas
Apple Pecan Raisin Empanadas

 

Directions

1. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients for the dough. Cut in the shortening until well combined. Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla together. Gradually add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until dough forms, adding a little flour if needed. Cover and let sit until ready to use.

2. For filling, combine all of the ingredients in a skillet. Cook at medium/low heat for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce reduces and becomes thick. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Once filling has cooled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Divide the dough into 12 equal dough balls. Line a tortilla press with a plastic freezer bag, cut to fit. Flatten dough ball to about 4 inches in diameter. Fill with a couple of tablespoons of filling. Fold over and seal with fork or use your fingers to pinch and fold over.

4. Once all empanadas are filled, brush with milk and sprinkle immediately with turbinado sugar so it sticks. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Transfer to the broiler for just under a minute to caramelize the sugar a little bit more. remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Yields 12 large empanadas.

Baked Goodies!
Baked Goodies!

 

Gorditas de Canela/Anis y Piloncillo (Brown Sugar Gorditas with Cinnamon & Anise)

Gorditas de Azucar
Gorditas de Azucar de Piloncillo, Canela y Anis

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup  piloncillo, grated or light brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground anise
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Gorditas de Azucar
Gorditas de Azucar

 

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until small granules form. Whisk the milk,egg and vanilla together. Gradually add in the milk/egg mixture until dough forms. If too sticky, add a little more flour. Dough should be tacky, but not sticky, lol! Roll 14 to 16 dough balls, cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat a large comal or griddle pan to just below medium heat for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough balls to about 31/2 inches in diameter. Cook on hot comal/griddle for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until nicely browned. It should start to bubble as soon as it hits the hot surface. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Make 14 to 16 gorditas.

Gorditas de Azucar
Gorditas de Azucar
Gorditas de Azucar
Gorditas de Azucar

 

La Panaderia’s Mexican Pink Cake, My version…. Click onto picture for full recipe at the Hispanic Kitchen.

La Panaderia's Mexican Pink Cake
La Panaderia’s Mexican Pink Cake

 

Marranitos~Cochinitos. Click onto picture for full recipe at the Hispanic Kitchen.

Marranito Cookies
Marranito Cookies

 

 

Hojarascas with Dark Mexican Chocolate and Orange Zest. On most days when I prepare a batch of Hojarascas, I like ato add a little twist. Not that the traditional way is not delicious enough, but a girls just gotta play in her own kitchen sometimes, lol! I enjoy testing out different combinations. Sometimes they work! But you won’t know until you try…

Hojarascas with Orange Zest and Dark Mexican Chocolate

Hojarascas with Orange Zest and Dark Mexican Chocolate


1 cup shortening or butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon of ground anise
1/3 teaspoon anise seeds
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour
3/4 cup finely crushed pecans, optional

For Chocolate topping
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate (Abuelita brand), broken into smaller pieces
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons shortening
Zest of 1 large orange

*Turbinado sugar or sugar in the raw for sprinkling, optional

 

A decorative wooden/cork stopper made a great press for my hojarascas
A decorative wooden/cork stopper made a great press for my hojarascas
I really enjoy combining dark mexican chocolate with the special dark chips to make a quick topping for cookies
I really enjoy combining dark mexican chocolate with the special dark chips to make a quick topping for cookies

 

Directions 

1. Cream the shortening and sugar together. With the mixer running on low, add in the ingredients in the order listed while mixing. When you get to the flour, you may have to finish mixing by hand if it gets too thick. Fold in the pecans, cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll 24 balls and place on baking sheets evenly. Using a flat bottomed glass, flatten the hojarascas slighlty. If the glass sticks, dip it in a little flour before using to flatten cookies. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes or until the edges turn light brown. Rotate the pans halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and let cool.

3. For topping, add the Mexican chocolate to a glass bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 to 40 seconds to soften and melt.  Add 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, cinnamon and shortening. Microwave on high at 20 seconds intervals, mixing in between each time, until chocolate is smooth. Add a full teaspoon to each cookie, swirling around to spread out evenly. Add orange zest and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Yields 24 cookies. Let sit at room temperature until chocolate sets before storing in a loosely covered container.

Hojarascas with dark Mexican Chocolate and Orange Zest
Hojarascas with dark Mexican Chocolate and Orange Zest
Prepping and  measuring before cooking or baking is a must!
Prepping and measuring before cooking or baking is a must!
Dulce de Leche Macaroons with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, not a traditional Panaderia treat, but still worth adding.
Dulce de Leche Macaroons with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt
Dulce de Leche Macaroons with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt


5 cups unsweetened coconut (you can use sweetened if you like)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
13 ounce can La Lechera dulce de leche
1/8 cup milk
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
18 dark chocolate kisses
Coarse sea salt, optional for sprinkling onto chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients and add to the dry.

3. Using two spoons drop mounds onto lined baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes.While still warm, top with chocolate kisses. When chocolate softens and melts, sprinkle with sea salt. I added sprinkles to some of them as well, just for fun! Yields 18 large macaroons.

Tips~ Let the macaroons cool at room temperature. Cover them loosley with wax paper. They will soften overnight.

Used my recipe for Polvorones and made Valentines Day Alfajores
Used my recipe for Polvorones and made Valentines Day Alfajores
 
How to Make Conchas/Pan de Huevo. This was a fun recipe I developed for Que Rica Vida. Step by step directions on how to prepare conchas or pan de huevo right in your own kitchen.
http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes-cooking/how-to-make-conchas-mexicanas/
How to make conchas, step by step
How to make conchas, step by step, click onto picture for complete recipe
Empanadas de Piña. These perfect little empanadas filled with homemade pineapple filling is a family recipe that was shared with me by my Tía Minerva. On my last trip to Mexico, in 2011, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a whole month with her. We cooked together and she told me stories of my grandparents and their life together that I had never known. These family recipes hold a very special place in my heart. Entered May 14, 2014
Empanadas de Piña Dredged in Cinnamon and Sugar
Empanadas de Piña Dredged in Cinnamon and Sugar
 
For Dough
3½ cups flour
1¼ cups shortening
½ cup water
½ teaspoon anise seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for dusting
 
For Pineapple Filling
2 cups finely chopped, fresh pineapple
¾ cup dark brown sugar or piloncillo, if available
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup cold water

1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

 

 

1. Combine the anise seeds, cinnamon stick, and ½ cup of water. Steep (cook) in the microwave for  minutes, strain and set aside. Melt the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl, add the tea and stir gently stir. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, until the dough forms and is no longer sticky. You may need to add a little more flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest.2.  While the dough is resting, make your pineapple filling.  In a large nonstick skillet, add the  fresh pineapple and heat to medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, stir well to combine. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.  In a small bowl, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water. Mix together, making sure there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the cooking pineapple, stir well. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let filling cool.

3. When filling is cool and dough has rested, form  20 to 24(1½-inch) dough balls and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Take one dough ball at a time and press in tortilla press lined with wax paper, fill with 1½ to 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over, and using a fork,  or your fingers, press edges together to seal empanada.4. Transfer empanadas to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. While still slightly warm, roll in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Yields 24 small empanadas.
Tips~ I like to place the empanadas under the broiler just long enough to brown the tops of the empanadas before removing from oven.
Polvorones, "Mexican Wedding Cookies" dipped in chocolate
Polvorones, “Mexican Wedding Cookies” dipped in chocolate
Empanaditas de Cajeta y de Chocolate,  Blog Entry May 23, 2014. Every time I prepare this family recipe for empanada dough, I try something a little different. This time, instead of melting the shortening, I cut it into the flour. And instead of just using all shortening, I added manteca (lard) which is typically used in Mexican empanada dough recipes. I loved It!!!! This was a special batch prepared for a facebook friend Heather, that lives near Chicago. Shipping and hoping they arrive in one piece…#laboroflove
Mini empanadas, some filled with dulce de leche and some filled with semi sweet chocolate
Mini empanadas, some filled with dulce de leche and some filled with semi sweet chocolate


1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons manteca, lard
3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2/3 cup warm water
1/3 to 1/2 cup dulce de leche caramel
1/3 to 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cinnamon/sugar mixture

1. Combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the manteca and shortening until you have pea size pieces.

2. Gradually add in water until dough forms, transfer to a flat surface and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, adding water as needed. Cover and let dough rest for 30 minutes.

3. Make 16 equal dough balls, keep covered so they don’t dry out. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Using a lined tortilla press or the bottom of a flat plate, press out disc. Fill with 1 tablespoon cajeta or mini chocolate chips. Fold over and seal with fork or pinch and fold up with you thumb and finger to seal. Pierce the tops gently to create vent holes.Top the chocolate ones with a few mini chips.

5. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven for 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. While still warm, dredge the dulce de leche empanadas through cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the chocolate empanadas with cinnamon and suagr. Yields 16 small empanadas. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Tips~ I like using a quart size freezer bag to line my tortilla press. The dulce de leche (cajeta) will usually leak out, so don’t panic, lol! I have not learned the secret to keep it from doing that yet.

Empanaditas de Cajeta y de Chocolate
Empanaditas de Cajeta y de Chocolate