Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Empanaditas y Rugelach

I will always associate these Empanaditas with my Cuban grandmother (Mima) and Christmas time.  I have memories of making these with her since I was little.  She would always put me in charge of filling the pastries- each year reminding me to line the edges with water, not to use too much guava, top with dab of egg beat, and cut a slit on each before placing in the oven.  The finished product is a delish, sweet treat.  When eaten warm, the guava oozes from the pastry and melts in your mouth.   This was my first time making them all on my own.  I had hoped to make them with her over Christmas but a snowstorm got in the way.  Not to skip out on the tradition, I decided to make them on my own here in Chapel Hill.  The rugelach uses the same recipe with a different filling.  These pastries represent the jewish side of my family.  I am proud to say I made them from scratch and they taste almost as delicious as if my grandmother made them with me. 

8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1 pieces
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
8 1/2 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

-          Goya Guava paste (comes in a rectangular box)
-          ½ cup Brown sugar
-          ¾ walnuts finely chopped
-          1tsp cinnamon sugar

Have at hand:
-          2 eggs , beaten in a bowl
-          Bowl of water

To make the dough, mix all ingredients (I used my hands, only took about 5-10 minutes).  Wrap dough in plastic and cool in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut guava in about 1 or ½ -inch squares (depending on size you’re making pastry).  Mix the brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon into a separate bowl.  Put aside for later use.

After 30 minutes take dough from fridge. Divide into four pieces. Keep three pieces wrapped in plastic and in the fridge.  Roll out the first piece.  This is a VERY sticky dough so keep adding flour to the surface and roller you’re working with. The dough needs to stay cold so make sure you keep all the dough you’re not using in the fridge. 

Using cookie cutters or whatever you have in your kitchen (I used wine glasses), cut out circles.  Choose which filling to use (alternate or only do one, whatever you like.)

Guava Empanaditas:
Place guava section in middle (not too much or it will explode in oven.  With your finger, wet edge of circle with water. Fold over and press down open side with a fork.  Brush top lightly with the egg.  IMPORTANT: poke a small slit on top of each empanadita so they can breathe in the oven. IF you don’t, they may explode.

You can still use the circles and then cut them into fourths.  Press the walnut/sugar mixture into the dough. Roll up into a spiral and ping ends. Brush with egg. 

Repeat steps with all your dough.   Sometimes when I have extra dough that I cant really roll out anymore I’ll just make my only little pastry- be creative, improvise J

Place the empanaditas and rugelach onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown (around 25 minutes). 

These are great served warm or cold, for breakfast or dessert, whatever you like.  If you make too many you can always freeze them for later.  


  1. these look delish...will you bring one to me tomorrow? I'll bring you a cookie in exchange :)