These are addictive. No matter how many you make, they will disappear. To make an empanada, you usually have to make the dough, which can be a hassle. I like to use purchased puff pastry instead. Press the empanadas tightly to enclose the filling so the cajeta doesn't seep out during baking. If you don't have round molds, just used a cleaned-out can of tuna to cut the circles.

Serves 8 to 10


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (1-pound) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • All-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cajeta or caramel sauce
  • ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup cubed (½-inch) fresh pineapple
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. demarara sugar or raw sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cutter or inverted glass, cut out 9 circles. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry sheet. Spoon a scant teaspoon of cajeta in the center of each round.

Top each with a sprinkling of grated cheese and 3 or 4 pieces of pineapple. Brush the edge of each circle with egg wash and fold each empanada into a half-moon. Crimp the edges with a fork.

Transfer the empanadas to the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the remaining egg wash. Sprinkle the empanadas with demarara sugar and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.


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