Whether you’re into empanadas, hand pies, dumplings, or patties — everyone loves a good stuffed, doughy pastry. Besides, why make snacking more complicated when it can be just as easily delicious with simple ingredients? I grew up on sweet empanadas — traditionally from Ecuador, and adapted them to a seriously cheesy experience. Cottage cheese has been on everyone’s radar as of late. Foodies all over TikTok and Instagram have been making cottage cheese cool again, and I’m not mad about it. Although cottage cheese isn’t a melty cheese, combining it with traditional queso fresco makes all the difference.
This fun street market snack is the perfect way to enjoy your new favourite sweet cottage cheese and satisfy your sweet-savoury craving at the same time.
Pastry dough can be stored for up to one day in the fridge.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder. Add in the butter and mix. I typically use my hands, but a hand mixer works too.
Into the same bowl, add in orange juice and mineral water and roughly mix together until sticky dough has formed. Shape dough into a large ball.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until soft and rounded. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into 2 mm thickness. With a circular cutter (or a bowl or cup) make circular dough shapes and set aside.
To fill the pastries, dollop 1-2 tablespoons of cottage cheese (to taste), 1 teaspoon of mozzarella cheese, and a pinch of chives in the center of the pastry. Fold over pastry dough and press the edges with a fork to enclose. Lightly brush the exterior with egg yolk.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add neutral oil and heat over medium-high. Once hot, gently rest the empanadas into the neutral oil, covering about half of the pastry. Flip every minute for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Sprinkle sugar on top of empanadas and serve immediately with a fresh cup of coffee or espresso.