These Mexican cheese skull empanadas are to die for – no pun intended! Not only do they melt in your mouth, but they are also very crafty to make. The idea came about because we were asked to create a creative recipe using one of the many Cacique Mexican cheeses to help celebrate Dia de los Muertos and I just happened to have a skull cookie cutter! I thought it would give a charming twist to the traditional empanada.
I guarantee you, this is an easy recipe. I’m not a devoted chef mom, I like shortcuts, therefore I used pre-made pie crust for the dough! From there, you can have your kids help make these for a Dia de Los Muertos party or to put at a loved one’s ofrenda. For me, my favorite part was rolling out the pieces to make the faces! And as long as you use the Cacique Ranchero Queso Fresco Mexican Cheese as the base filling, you can add whatever fruit you like. For these, I used apple pie filling!
Before we go on to the recipe, if you are interested in more Dia de Los Muertos recipes, Cacique has a whole web site dedicated to them!
I have to say, we always have Ranchero Queso Fresco in the fridge. It works with so many recipes and snacks. It’s creamy, smooth and sliceable, yet can be easily crumbled. Yup, this is my stranded on a desert island cheese of choice. And this recipe has special memories for me. My mom-in-law came over that day to help me in the kitchen. She’s a pro! Well, I told her about combining the Queso Fresco with the apples and she was like, “Hmmm. I haven’t heard that before. Let’s try it.” She sliced two pieces of the cheese, added an apple filling slice on top and we both popped the samples in our mouths. Then we moaned. “Um-hum….oh yah. This is where it’s at, right here…”
1 package of pie crust
1 package of Cacique Ranchero® Queso Fresco Mexican Cheese
Pie filling of choice
Skull cookie cutter
Pre-heat the oven to 375.
1. Set the pie crust on a flat surface dusted with flour. Use the cookie cutter to cut our shapes. Each empanada is comprised of two pieces.
2. Set on a greased cookie sheet.
3. Add a thick slice of Mexican cheese, then top with pie filling.
4. Set the second piece of dough on top, and press down with your finger all the way around.
5. With the leftover dough, cut circles, and roll thin ropes.
6. Create the faces on each empanada.
7. Once the faces are made, mix the egg with water to create a wash. Brush it on top, this will help the empanadas brown, make them shiny and will act as a glue for all those little pieces.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Oh my gosh, they are so delicious, I wish I had one right now. The hardest part of all of this was keeping my family away from the plate before I could take pictures. And I didn’t succeed! Look at that last picture, one is missing, lol!
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