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Moroccan Empanadas

My family goes for Moroccan flavors, so I make empanada pastries using beef and apricot preserves. Here’s a flaky hand pie with a spicy dipping sauce. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min.
  • Makes
    20 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 3/4 teaspoon Moroccan seasoning (ras el hanout) or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin plus 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander and dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sheets refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • SAUCE:
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425°. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles, 5-7 minutes; drain. Stir in cream cheese, preserves, carrot and seasonings. Cool slightly.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, unroll sheets of pie crust. Cut 40 circles with a floured 3-in. cookie cutter, rerolling crust as necessary. Place half of the circles 2 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Top each with 1 rounded tablespoon beef mixture. Top with remaining crust circles; press edges with a fork to seal.
  • Brush tops with egg yolk; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut slits in tops. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, in a microwave, warm sauce ingredients, stirring to combine. Serve with empanadas.
    Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked empanadas on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until firm. Transfer to a freezer container; return to freezer. To use, bake empanadas as directed, increasing time as necessary. Prepare sauce as directed.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with McCormick Gourmet Moroccan Seasoning (ras el hanout).
Nutrition Facts
1 empanada with about 2 teaspoons sauce: 215 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 256mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.
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