If the question is “had enough chocolate?” then my answer is a resounding “No!”. Even in this month of dentist, florist, and card-maker’s holidays, I still can’t get enough. Here’s one guest blogger’s answer to the “gotta get me some mores”. Mmmm…
While shopping at my local grocery store, I picked up their monthly publication, which contains suggested items and recipes in which to use those items. Well I came across a recipe that reminded me of my childhood and my Grandmother’s wonderful pumpkin empanadas (hand pies in English).
The recipe in the publication is actually for Butternut Squash and Gruyere Cheese Hand Pies. I made them and was pleasantly surprised that they came out well and everyone seemed to enjoy them. That success story was the inspiration for my next adventure with making empanadas.
As the holiday season was coming to a close, rather than having a holiday gathering of our French Conversation group, one of our charming members invited us all to his home in mid-January. He and his wife are delightful hosts and we all had a lovely time, sharing stories of our holiday activities and new years resolutions.
Of course one cannot attend a gathering here in central Texas without taking something to contribute to the affair. Being southerners and all, whether native or transplanted, that’s how we do things around here.
So back to my empanada adventure, as I pondered what to prepare for the gathering, I thought of making the butternut squash empanadas again but that just didn’t seem to satisfy my yearn to try something different. You see, crazy as it may be, I like trying new recipes on my friends and family and if they work, I keep the recipe for another occasion and if not well, into the recycle bin it goes.
Nonetheless, the original recipe was the catalyst for what turned to be a keeper recipe. Ok, the suspense is about to be over. In my ponderings and reminiscing about the pain au chocolat I had for breakfast almost every morning on a recent trip to France, (late October to early November) it occurred to me to make the empanadas with a dark chocolate filling. And so the search began for just the right filling recipe but it had to be simple. Finding a simple recipe became a challenge and just as I was about to give up on the idea, it dawned on me that I could make the filling out of a delicious dark chocolate with sea salt bar. This chocolate bar has become a favorite during our French Conversation meetings with different members taking turns providing this lovely treat.
It just so happened that I had a couple of bars at home so the baking began and here, finally you might be thinking, is how I made them…
Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate Empanadas
prep time: about 30-40 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes per batch if cooking one batch at a time
servings: about 20
3-4 Almond Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bars (or your favorite chocolate bar)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 boxes frozen puff pastry, thawed and brought to room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup cinnamon sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Dust a clean surface with flour.
Unroll puff pastry on the floured surface and lightly roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut 4-inch circles.
(I didn’t have anything that size so I used the rim of a plastic glass that measured about 4 inches.)
Cut two squares from the chocolate bar and place into center of each pastry disk.
Fold into half-moons and press edges together with a fork. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or use parchment paper.
Mix eggs and water together then lightly brush mixture on finished pastries.
Lightly dust with cinnamon sugar if you like.
Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Served warm the filling is still soft while at room temperature it may begin to harden.
Many thanks to my friend for sharing both this recipe and some of the pies with me. I am here to tell you they are delicious, flaky, yummy 2-bite delights! Until next time… bon appetit!