Dulce de leche empanadas or cajeta empanadas as we know them in Mexico are a dessert or sweet snack typical of where we grew up. There are actually lots of different fillings. There is pineapple filling, strawberry, peach, guava filling, etc. but my favorites are the dulce de leche ones.
In fact, they are so common that we have specialized stores that sell them in lots of different flavors, shapes and sizes.
Dulce de leche empanadas, in spite of what you may think or imagine, are not as sweet because the dough is nor sweet nor savory, it is only the dulce de leche that brings the sweetness here. Plus, they are pretty cheap to make because they only call for basic ingredients and each person chooses what to use as a filling, which can actually even be savory.
My mom has always loved both empanadas and dulce de leche separately. So she started looking for the ultimate dulce de leche empanadas a long time ago. She has now a really good recipe that she has perfected over the years and always turns out great. So this is actually our mom´s recipe to make dulce de leche empanadas. They are crunchy yet soft and sweet.
If you have never tried sweet empanadas like these I really recommend you make and try them because it is something different you can´t miss. I have also made them filled with pineapple and they are so good! The important thing to note here is that the filling has to be thick in consistency so it does not sort of melt while in the oven, because that is the worst thing you could have happen to your empanadas is for the filling to come out while baking and end up with nothing inside the empanada.
The dough used for these empanadas can also be used to make for example a pie crust or filled cookies since it holds up its shape really nicely.
If you like this recipe, you have to go see our classic alfajores, made with cornstarch.
- 7 1/2 C (2.20 lbs) (1 kg) all purpouse flour sifted
- 2 tsp (0.50 oz) (14 gr) salt
- 1 C (7 oz) (200 gr) white granulated sugar
- 1 C + 2 tbsp (8.80 oz) (250 gr) vegetable shortening
- 1 can (12.17 fl oz) (360 ml) evaporated milk
- 1.65 lbs (750 gr) dulce de leche pastry level or of thick consistency
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg beaten, to brush before baking
In a big bowl put the sifted flour, salt and sugar. Using your fingertips mix a little to combine the ingredients.
Add in the vegetable shortening and continue to mix with your fingertips for 5 minutes until the shortening fully integrates with the flour.
Add in the evaporated milk and bring together using your hands until you form a soft dough. It is important not to knead and just touch the dough until it comes together and it is smooth.
Cover the dough with kitchen plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl miz together the dulce de leche and egg yolks using a fork until combined.
Once the dough has rested, put it on the kitchen countertop and roll it out until it has a thickness of about 0.20 inches (5 mm).
Cut the dough with a circular cookie cutter of about 2.30 – 2.75 inches (6-7 cm) until you get about 30 circles (you will need to roll out the dough 1 or 2 more times to get all the circles).
Once you have all the circles ready, put about 1 to 2 tbsp of dulce de leche in the middle. Then fold each onto itself to form half a circle. To seal them, press a fork on the edges like you see in the pictures.
Preheat the oven to 375º F (180º C). Line one or two big baking sheets with parchment paper.
Once all the empanadas are ready, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle some granulated sugar on top if you want to. Bake for 20 minutes until they turn slighty golden brown.
Take out of the oven and let them cool down for at least 10 minutes before eating.