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Banana Hazelnut Empanadas

Servings: Makes 16 servings, 2 empanadas per serving

Definition: [em-pah-NAH-dah; em-pah-NAH-thah] Empanar is Spanish for "to bake in pastry," and these Mexican and Spanish specialties are usually single-serving turnovers with a pastry crust and savory meat-and-vegetable filling. They can also be filled with fruit and served as dessert. Empanadas range in size from the huge empanada gallega, large enough to feed an entire family, to empanaditas--tiny, ravioli-size pastries.

Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

1 large, ripe banana, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
2 refrigerated 9-inch pie crusts or favorite from-scratch pie dough (enough for 2 pie crusts, 9-inches each)
2 tablespoons water (for brushing)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Cinnamon ice cream or whipped cream, for serving, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).

In small bowl, mix banana and hazelnut spread until combined. (It will thicken and become stiff.) Set aside.

Divide dough in half. Roll out each half to a 14 x 8-inch rectangle, 1/4-inch thick. Using square or round 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 8 pieces per half. Place 1 heaping teaspoon Nutella-banana mixture on each dough cutout. Brush outer perimeter with water and fold dough to make a closed pocket. Pinch edges together with fork. Brush with water and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze on parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheets for at least 15 minutes. (The empanadas can be made up to this point and frozen for 3 months.) Bake empanadas at 350 degrees F (180 C) until golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with cinnamon ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Makes 16 servings, 2 empanadas per serving.

Source: Nutella Hazelnut Spread
Date: April 14, 2005