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Catholic Recipe: Empanaditas


  • 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg, well-beaten
  • Filling: See recipes for either Pumpkin Filling (Relleno de Calabaza), Bean Filling (Relleno de Frijoles) or meat filling (Relleno de Carne)


Prep Time: N/A

Difficulty:  N/A

Cost:  N/A

For Ages: n/a

Origin: United States California Missions


Often Made With (3)


Feasts (1)

One of the foods the Spanish Franciscans ate in the California missions. A wonderful food to serve in honor of St. Junipero Serra.

Empanaditas is one of the traditional foods eaten in the California Missions. So many of these foods are a combination from Mexican, Spanish and Native American cultures. The filling can be sweet or savory: pumpkin Relleno de Calabaza, beans Relleno de Frijoles or meat Relleno de Carne.


Combine the aniseed, sugar and water in a small pan, and bring to the boiling stage; cook for 3 minutes. Cool. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar; mix in the shortening, rubbing well together. Add the beaten egg and aniseed liquid. Knead well until the dough is soft but elastic. Divide the dough into 3 portions; roll out one at a time, and cut each portion into 4 inch circles.

Add filling and fold over as turnovers. Press the edges together with a fork, prick the top once or twice with the fork. Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F.) until golden.

Recipe Source: California Missions: A Complete Pictorial History and Visitor's Guide, The by Sunset Editors, Sunset Books, 1979