Immaculate Conception Empanadas
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- 8 ounces (185 grams) fresh nata or cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups picadillo, or preferred filling, recipe below
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- To make the dough, beat the cream cheese with the butter in the mixer at medium speed until creamy and well blended. Gently add the flour and salt and continue mixing for one minute more. Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter top and knead for a minute. Place dough into a bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes up to 12 hours.
- Sprinkle flour over the counter top and roll out half of the dough until it's slightly less than 1/4 inch think. For medium sized empanadas, cut out rounds of 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Continue until all the dough is used.
- Grease a baking sheet with butter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brush a thin layer of lightly beaten egg on the edges of the dough rounds. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons Picadillo filling into the center of each round. Fold a side of the circle over the filling across the other side. Pressing with your fingers as you close the dough. Without breaking the dough, press the edges with a fork to seal and make a design.
- Place the empanadas on the baking sheet. When you fill the baking sheet, lightly brush their tops with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake the empanadas for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top have a golden tan color and the dough is cooked through. Serve hot.