Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas

If you want to see a commentary-free version of this recipe, go here!

On occasion I like to torture myself.  There are many things that I have tried to make and they never quite turn out right.  bite-size breakfasts, cut-out cookies, pasta with chickpeas and empanadas/calzones.

It is so frustrating because I love them.  The perfectly baked dough.  The delicious fillings perfectly heated.

Nope, never happens for me.

I’m not sure why I thought this would be any different, but when I saw this recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas from Pillsbury, I just HAD TO MAKE IT!  I know it is going to taste good, but I know it won’t be as pretty as the perfect little empanadas on Pillsbury’s website.

Or would they?

© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas
If I’m being honest, I have to say that not all of these turned out this lovely.  However, there were more that looked this perfect than like they had been gnawed on by a empanada-chewing oven gnome.

This is what I had to compare mine to and I have to say, I think my dipping artistry is a little prettier than Pillsbury.  No disrespect Pillsbury… you know I love ya.  Don’t send the doughboy after me.

For more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessYIKES – There isn’t any prep to make a mess, so we can just jump to the equipment.  There’s a lot of it, and you’ll have to haul out the stand mixer or deal with, but the equipment doesn’t compare with the mess you will make during assembly.  I used parchment paper and even that didn’t keep my cabniets clean.  I had sticky dough on the cabinet tops, filling in my hair (I have no idea how that happened), chocolate and peanut butter dripped on the cabinet doors and floor… it was a mess.  Now, part of that could definitely have been me, but if you have any “butter-finger” quotient to your cooking/baking skills – be prepared.

Start-to-Finish Time: ALMOST THREE HOURS – Never fear… only half of it is hands-on.  I had two batches, so I had 35 minutes of baking time and then there was plenty of cooling and setting time for the dip.

Servings: I didn’t get quite 24 empanadas.  I wasn’t interested in rolling out the pie crust over and over again.  I think I did it twice and then I was done.  I got around 20 of them.

Prep Work: ALL FINGERS STILL HERE – You barely have to measure anything.  Truthfully, you have to beat the egg, but I can’t in good conscience say that it could cause SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS.

Ease of Recipe: MORE THAN I BARGAINED FOR – My cake decorating classes have taught me how to effectively roll out dough, so that was much improved from before, but I had serious issues trying to get the empanadas to seal.  I still have no success using the fork-and-crimp technique of sealing pastries.  And the dipping… oh the dipping.  I had to keep the chocolate and peanut butter warm and had a lot of issues trying to get the last bit of chocolate and peanut butter on to the empanadas.

OverallSORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS – Ordinarily when we have that many pastries, we’ll take some to work or give them to friends.  My husband tried that.  He almost lost an arm.  I ate them every day for at least one meal.  And yes, I ate them for breakfast.  Nothing gets your day started like a jolt of sugar and peanut butter with a hot cup of coffee.

Nutritional Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Spark Recipes.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Serving Size = 1 empanada
  • Calories 330
  • Total Fat 20g
  • Saturated Fat 8g
  • Trans Fat 1/2g
  • Cholesterol 20mg
  • Sodium 230mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 33g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 16g
  • Protein 4g
Not the healthiest of treats.  You can get away with eating just one, but you really don’t want to.  These are like the Sirens calling Odysseus to the shore.  I made some small changes (brands used and low fat options), so I re-ran the numbers with my fingers crossed.  Here’s what I came up with:
  • Calories 357.2
  • Total Fat 21.7g
  • Saturated Fat 11.1 g
  • Cholesterol 17.7 mg
  • Sodium 244.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 39.4 g
  • Fiber 2.3g
  • Sugars 20.3 g
  • Protein 6.9 g
Yeah, it is about the same if not slightly worse.  Bummer.

You’re going to find everything you need at your local grocery store.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - ingredients
1 roll Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough

4 ounces 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened

3 refrigerated pie crusts, softened
1 Egg, beaten

1 bag (10 oz) Reese's® peanut butter baking chips

4 tablespoons Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening, divided

1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Cream CheeseThe original recipe called for regular cream cheese, but I had 1/3-less fat cream cheese on hand. FYI - you can get 4 ounces from an 8 ounce package.

Pie Crusts
The original recipe called for Pillsbury pie crusts. I bought the store brand, which were cheaper. Most pie crusts come with two in a box, so you'll need to buy two boxes.
Soften the pie crusts as directed on box.  In this case, they needed to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Black Pepper – The original recipe called for a specific brand of pepper, and again I used a store-brand.  Not really a change, but a variation.

EggThe original recipe called for a brand name of eggs. I buy store brand on a regular basis and had it on hand.

Chocolate Chips – The original recipe called for a brand name of chocolate chips. I went with the store brand which was less expensive AND on sale. Can't beat that!


© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - equipment
Small Bowl and Fork - for beating egg
Stand Mixer
Rolling Pin
4-inch-round Cookie Cutter
(3) Spoons - mixing
Small Paring Knife
Cookie Sheets
Parchment Paper
Pastry Brush

(2) Small Bowl, microwavable

Stand Mixer – The original recipe had you mixing the dough and cream cheese in a large bowl and beating it with a hand mixer.  I just simplified the process with my stand mixer.

Parchment Paper
Parchment paper is a great substitute for waxed paper and that’s what I have on hand, so I wasn’t in the mood to buy anything else.
Also, use the parchment paper to line the cooking sheets for baking and counter tops  for easy clean-up when rolling out the pie crusts.


(1) Heat oven to 375°F. Let 1/2 roll of cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
If you get out your ingredients first and then the equipment you need, it should be the 10 minutes you'll need to let it stand. Refrigerate the other half of the cookie dough for another use, or do like I did... make cookies immediately.
(2) Make the filling:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - make filling
(a) In the bowl of a stand mixer, break up cookie dough with your hands.
(b) Add cream cheese; beat on medium speed until smooth. Set aside.

(3) Assemble the empanadas:
(a) Unroll 1 pie crust; roll into 12-inch round.
If you unroll the pie crust on a piece of parchment paper, it will help minimize the mess.
© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas -cut rounds
(b) Using 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds, rerolling dough as necessary. Repeat with second and third crusts.

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Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - fill empanadas
(c) Spoon scant 1 tablespoon cookie dough mixture on half of each round; flatten slightly.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - close and crimp
(d) Bring dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal.

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Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - finish
(e) Cut small slit on top of each empanada; place on ungreased cookie sheets.
(f) Brush tops with beaten egg.

(4) Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until golden brown.

(5) Cool 2 minutes.

(6) Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

(7) Dip the empanadas in peanut butter:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Empanadas - dip in peanut butter
(a) In small microwavable bowl, microwave peanut butter chips and 2 tablespoons of the shortening on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.

(b) Dip 1 corner of each empanada into melted chips on an angle, creating a diagonal line.
(c) Place on waxed or parchment paper; let stand 10 minutes or until coating is set.
(8) Dip the empanadas in chocolate:
(a) In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and remaining 2 tablespoons shortening on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.
(b) Holding undipped corner, dip the peanut butter-coated empanadas into melted chocolate on opposite angle so that some peanut butter coating is still visible.
(c) Refrigerate 10 minutes or until chocolate is set.
(9) Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store covered in refrigerator.

The key to this dish isn’t the golden crusts or the peanut butter and chocolate dipping, but the delicious cookie and cream cheese filling.  The pie crust envelops that filling and the peanut butter and chocolate are just extra deliciousness.

If I were going to make any changes:
  • I would make my empanadas a little bigger forcing me to only eat them for dessert!  They would also be easier to fill and seal.
  • I would put them in the fridge to set and chill immediately.  Letting them sit at room temperature affected the pastry (or at least I think it did).  It didn’t make it bad, but it didn’t have that crispness to it either.
  • I would add more slits to the top.  I think that would have kept some of the filling in the ones that fell apart.
Until next time… happy baking!

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