Remember Fig Newtons? Ohhh yeahhh… me too. A soft cookie stuffed with sticky sweet figs. They are the best. My dad has a serious sweet tooth. As a kid, he’d have stashes of cookies and to this day he has a collection of goodies in his car at all times. When I was a kid, he would often have Fig Newtons. This was my one and only fig experience as a young’n , but it was a darn good one.
So when I decided to make fig empanadas because, well, figs are incredible aaannnnnd they’re in season (For ease of use, I opted for dried figs, but you could easily use fresh. See the recipe notes at the bottom.), I was happy to find that they reminded me of the beloved Fig Newtons. But here’s the thing, they are even better in a few ways. Break it down:
- They are homemade, constructed with love and without preservatives.
- They are easier to take on the go with you and keep your hands cleaner because they are covered completely in a kickin’ flaky crust.
- They have more flavor complexity due to the orange, lime, and almond additions.
- I ain’t gonna lie, they’re just prettier.
I’m really loving these little pockets of love. The crust is flaky-tender while the middle is soft and sticky, all of which is topped off with crunchy almonds. And how about that flavor? Citrus, fig, almond, and a buttery touch from the crust all work together perfectly. I’m sad I didn’t make more. And on that note…
Homemade, flaky, delicious empanadas take some work. So when you decide to delve into this recipe, do yourself a favor and make a big batch. This particular recipe makes 24, but I don’t think you’d regret making a double batch one bit. What are you going to do with all those empanadas? Sharing is caring! I’m sure you can think of someone who deserves a bit of happiness or a thank you. I know for a fact I would be thrilled to receive a basket of these cute little treats. You can also store them in the freezer. They keep beautifully!
See you next time y’all!
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¼ cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 6 ounces dried figs, stems removed and small diced
- about 3 cups of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and break up with a fork or dough blender until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, ice water, and vinegar. Add the wet mixture, a little at a time to the dry mixture, adding just enough until the dough comes together. Knead a few times with your hands, form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 15.
- Meanwhile, make the fig filling for the empanadas. Place the diced figs in a medium bowl and cover with just enough boiling water to cover. Allow to sit for 20 minutes, drain, and place in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly with butter.
- Once the dough is chilled, roll out on a floured surface until it is about ⅓-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut circles from the dough. You can collect the trimmings and re-roll another time to get more empanadas, if you desire.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the edges of the circles with egg wash. This will help the edges stick together. Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon of filling onto one end of each of the dough disks and fold over to seal with your hands.
- Place the empanadas on the prepared cookie sheets. You can crimp the edges with a fork to make them prettier, but this is totally optional. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Return to the oven and bake until the almonds and empanadas are lightly browned, about 7 minutes more.
- Allow the empanadas to cool slightly, then devour with a cup of milk or coffee. You can also let them cool thoroughly, place in an airtight container and toss them in the freezer for future cravings.