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Nobody said empanadas were strictly for dinner - after all, they are essentially little handheld pies. With fresh, juicy berries and creamy ricotta encased in delightfully flaky homemade crusts, Roxana’s dessert empanadas are the perfect fun-sized sweet treat. Lizzie, Recipe Hunter

Lizzie Tilchin

THE RECIPE

Berry Sweet Empanadas

Fun-sized handheld pies

Traditionally a savory dish, empanadas are distinguished both by their crispy, flaky exteriors and by their fun, palm-of-your-hand size. Here, we love anything that we can acceptably eat with our hands, and Roxana’s recipe fits the bill while demonstrating the pastry’s dessert potential. Roxana’s empanadas use ricotta, a perfect dessert cheese: creamy, mild, and an ideal match for sweet, juicy berries. Together, ricotta and summer berries (either blackberries or raspberries, depending on what you like) are spooned and sealed inside of homemade crusts that are then baked to golden perfection. Every bite is an irresistible combination of flaky crust and the soft, warm filling that, because of the natural sweetness of the berries, does not require any added sugar. Roxana’s empanadas are quick and great for serving at parties. What’s more fun to carry around than a goodie bag? Why, an individual hand-pie, of course.

THE CHEF

Roxana Yawgel

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Blogger

Roxana Yawgel

Roxana’s Home Baking is a fun place to visit for easy, baked from scratch recipes made with accessible ingredients. I’m a self taught baker, learning with every cup of flour I use and have a big sweet tooth, easily noticeable by the copious amounts of chocolate my recipes call for.

Roxana is the self-proclaimed chocoholic behind Roxana’s Home Baking. Because she is self-taught, Roxana sees cooking as an adventure and as a learning experience, and her blog sends the message that baking from scratch can be simple and delicious at the same time. Whether it be a bread, breakfast cookie or a rolled cake, Roxana truly has a sweet solution for everything (including many gluten-free options). Roxana even has some tutorials up on her site to pass on important knowledge; little baking 101 crash-courses, if you will, such as when to use which flour. All it takes is one look at the photos in her abundant recipe index for even the most apprehensive baker to find some inspiration to hit the kitchen and break out the flour, and to see that all of her recipes are made with love (as all the best are).

Head over to Roxana’s Home Baking and say hello to Roxana on Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest.

THE TIP

No Cookie Cutter? No Problem. Use a Can.

If you need to cut pastry dough or cookie dough but don’t have a round cookie cutter on hand, just pop open a can from the pantry like this:

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