I work from home in sweats and slippers. I work at my couch, my bed, and my kitchen table. I work in my shower, on my stairs, and from the top of my freezer – really. Once when I was particularly antsy, I went into the laundry room and sat for the next few hours on the spare freezer. My computer was fond of the temperature. My rear end was a little cold.
Working so close to a stocked fridge has its perks such as: left over lasagna and re-heated Spanish tortilla. It’s also a little isolating. Even with the occasional coffee date and Skype conference, I want more face-to-face time. I want the kind that requires bra wearing and hair brushing. I need that food sharing, game playing, joke telling time when there’s no thought to serving size or hours.
So I throw dinner parties. Small ones. A couple of people here and there. Enough to fill my table. Enough to fill my house with noise. They’re therapeutic. I should have them more often because I’m far less antsy for a day or so after one. And sometimes, I even have leftovers in the fridge.
These empanadas are incredibly versatile. The first time I had them was with my mom. She’s quite the party thrower. She served them as an appetizer with a sweet savory salsa. Replacing the goat cheese she used with cream cheese, I cut the cost. With the additional swap of a sweetened fruit compote, I had dessert.
Let the party begin!
The empanadas can be assembled up to 1 month in advance by freezing in a sealed container. They can also be made 1 day in advance, by covering and storing in a refrigerator.
2 cups mixed fruit (fresh or frozen)
Premade piecrust (package of 2)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup water
1 TBS sugar (or 1 tsp Truvia)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small saucepan, heat fruit over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, allow juices to release and fruit to simmer.
Un-roll premade crust and flatten with a rolling pin. Using a 4-inch pastry cutter, cut 16 circles from the dough (8 per crust).
Note: If you don’t have a pasty cutter, you can use a glass or ramekin of a similar size.
Cut cream cheese into 16 equal parts.
Helpful Hint: Use dental floss for cutting cheese.
Place one piece of cream cheese in center of one piecrust circle. Dip your finger into the 1 cup of water. Run your finger around the edge of the piecrust circle, wetting half of the crust. Fold crust over, covering cream cheese. Using the tines of a fork, press to seal.
Place on a cookie sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat with remaining piecrusts. Bake for 23 – 27 minutes, until golden brown. Place on a serving platter.
Stir sugar into fruit mixture and place in a small bowl in the center of your serving platter.
Serve empanadas warm with warm dipping sauce.
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