Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cashew Empanada

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Empanada, a savory fried or baked bread we Filipinos love.  The bread is stuffed with beef, chicken, pork or vegetables, taking into acocunt the Vigan empanda.  In one of my visit in Binondo that my belief that empanada is a savory bread changed.  My officemates introduced me to Salazar Bakeshop in Binondo and this is where I first encountered Peanut Empanada.  The empanada is not stuffed with the usual savory meat but with sweet ground peanut.  I totally fall in love with their bite sized empanada and make it a habit to buy a box or two of this snack.

We had a bag of cashew nuts sitting in the fridge for more than a month now.  I don't have any idea what to do with it since I don't want nuts in my brownies.  Then it struck me, why not make those lovely sweet empanada with cashew nuts instead of peanuts.  Then, I remembered how flavorful and buttery my piaya dough was and thought to myself that I will use the piaya dough recipe to make the empanada dough.

I got a cup of cashew nuts and pulverized it in the blender.  I added some brown sugar and tasted it.  It's almost similar to that of Salazar, however, it's too powdery.  Then I remembered the cheesecake recipe.  Yeah!  We used melted butter to bind the graham base of a cheesecake so why not use it.  I melted some butter and pour it over the cashew nut mixture and it became the consistency I have been looking for.

I made a piaya dough and divide the dough into 32 pieces.  Flatten it in to 3-inch wide and scoop out some filling.  I gently fold it and crimped the edges like that of the empanada.  I deep fried it until golden brown and voila!  I had my sweet cashew empanada at home.

Ingredients

1 cup                                     Cashew Nuts
1/2 cup                                  Brown Sugar, I know it's a lot but it's the right sweetness for me
2 Tablespoons                        Melted Salted Butter
2 Cups                                  All Purpose Flour
6 Tablespoons                       Cold Salted Butter
8 Tablespoons                       Cold Water
Oil for deep frying.

Procedure

Pulverize the cashew nuts in a blender and transfer in a bowl.  Add sugar and melted butter and mix until the consistency is similar to that of a wet sand and set aside.

Combine flour and butter.  Cut in the butter until you got a coarse mixture of flour and butter.  Add the cold water and mix.  Knead until the dough comes together.

Roll the dough in to a log and divide to 32 parts.  Roll a part of the dough in to a ball and flatten to 3-inch wide.  Scoop one teaspoon of the cashew nut filling and fold.  Crimp the edges to seal.  Repeat this step until you got 32 pieces of empanada.

Heat oil to low heat.  When the oil is hot enough, deep fry the empanada until golden brown.  Drain excess oil.  Enjoy this sweet snack with a cup of coffee.

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