Flaky pie crust encases chili and cinnamon spiked Nutella and sweet bananas, baked with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. The perfect dessert or breakfast for Cinco De Mayo, or any time!
I’ve had a jar of Nutella in my kitchen for a couple of months now, waiting for inspiration to strike. The fact that it’s lasted that long is kind of a miracle, it’s not unknown for me to just eat Nutella with a spoon – but I resisted until I came up with something awesome to bake with it. Inspiration struck this morning when I realised I hadn’t baked anything for Cinco De Mayo yet, which is just unacceptable because Mexican food is far too delicious for me not to honor the holiday on my blog in the form of something sweet! I went through a couple of ideas before landing on empanadas, and then Nutella and banana seemed like the obvious choice of filling – to me anyway!
While empanadas stuffed with something sweet have Mexican roots as it is, I wanted to really bring in the best of Mexican flavours. So with delicious Mexican hot chocolate in mind, I added cinnamon and a little chili to the Nutella – and oh my word, I don’t think I’ll ever eat regular Nutella ever again. I didn’t overload it with spices as I still wanted the Nutella flavour to shine brightly, but the hint of sweet warmth from the cinnamon and spicy heat from the chili really brings the already mouth watering spread to new levels of deliciousness! And, of course, the sweet banana compliments it all wonderfully. It’s such a delicious little package, one that I still need a lot of practice folding!
I wanted the empanadas to be pretty small, which resulted in very difficult work for me! There was a lot of Nutella in places it shouldn’t have been, with more creeping out as they baked. Which doesn’t make for the prettiest of pastries, I was pretty frustrated by the end of it all but once I took my first bite I suddenly stopped caring how ugly they looked, the amazing taste more than makes up for it! Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a little home baked character, right? The pastry that caused me all the folding trouble is actually pie crust, which I don’t think is exactly traditional (do correct me if I’m wrong) but it is delicious – it’s flaky, buttery and just melts in your mouth, the perfect case for the divine filling!
I made these little beauties this morning, took the photos and edited them ready to be posted all before midnight. Of course by the time I post this I should change that to “I made these yesterday morning”, but the point is that rarely happens! Normally I bake something, take photos, leave them sitting on my computer for a week, edit them and post the recipe a week or more later. I don’t have a particular schedule for when I post which recipe, I usually just go with whatever strikes my mood when I sit down to write. But these I wanted to get out for my Wednesday post, not only because they’re too yummy to leave waiting but I also wanted to get them out in plenty of time for your Cinco De Mayo menu planning – because honestly, you really don’t want to leave these off! Whether you’re having a party, a family meal or you’re just appreciating some Mexican food, they’ll make an awesome addition- and if you’re Mexican or from somewhere else in Latin America, perhaps you can teach me how to fold empanadas one day (I mean, I didn’t have any trouble with pop tarts, so there must be some secret empanada knack)!
The great thing about these little bites of heaven is they’re quick and easy to make, even the pie crust comes together with no effort, it’s all done in the food processor (my big tip for you there though is don’t try scoop the dough out of the food processor with your hands with the blades still in, most people don’t need reminding of that but I am typing this post with a very sore finger because apparently I DO need to reminding!), the longest part is leaving the dough to chill for an hour. And, while I’m not very good at it, the assembly part isn’t very time consuming. You can even make these up in the evening and stick them in the fridge, then in the morning brush with the cinnamon sugar and bake ready for a yummy, sweet breakfast! Or dessert! Or snack! I ate about 10 of these today, so I can confirm they’re good at any time (okay, maybe more like 15)! They’re also amazing warm from the oven or at room temperature, you really cannot go wrong!
- 310g plain flour (all purpose)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 230g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 120ml ice water*
- 200g Nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 large ripe banana, thinly sliced
- 30g unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- To make the crust, put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and process until you have fine crumbs.
- With the motor running, add 1 tbsp of ice water at a time until the dough starts to come together. It's unlikely you will need all 120ml of the water, just add until the dough is starting to clump.
- Carefully (haha) remove the dough from the food processor and form into a ball. Cut the ball into two and flatten into two discs. Wrap in cling film and chill in fridge for 1 hour. Remove dough from fridge about 10 minutes before rolling.
- Put the Nutella in a bowl and stir in the cinnamon and chili until combined. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and line baking sheets with parchment paper
- Roll out the pie dough about 3mm thick and cut out 3 inch circles, place the circles on the lined baking sheets. Keep rolling out the dough as many times as you need to to cut as many circles as you can.
- Place about 1/2 tsp nutella on one half of the circle and top with a slice of banana. Fold the over half over and pinch the edges to seal, crimp closed with a fork. Repeat with all circles.
- Brush each empanada with a little melted butter and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack, enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- *Measure out 120ml water and add a few ice cubes, swirl around and leave to sit for 5 minutes so the water is nice and cold!
- Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days
Mexico has such a wonderful variety of foods, each one more delicious than the next, I don’t think I’ve come across something I haven’t liked so far! I have a few other Mexican themed recipes on the blog, like this amazing cinnamon infused Tres Leches Cake and these to die for Margarita Cupcakes (which need to be re photographed asap, they’re too amazing to leave with bad photos!) and there will be many more to come. What’s your favourite Mexican food, sweet or savoury? Let me know in the comments below! And, to my Mexican readers, what do you do to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
If you liked this post, please subscribe below to get free and yummy recipes directly to your inbox!
You can also follow me on: