Leftover Makeover: Sweet Potato Dessert Empanadas

Candied. Yams. What comes to your mind when I say that? When I think about candied yams, I think of a casserole dish that's burned on the edges, with some sort of orange stuff in it, topped with marshmallows. And, oh, by the way, this is supposed to be a savory dish that you eat with dinner. Not my favorite. (For the record, I love yams/sweet potatoes in other forms.) I always felt that candied yams were too sweet for dinner, but not sweet enough for dessert, and that's why there always seems to be a ton of leftovers of the stuff.

Today, we're taking those leftovers, adding some butter, wrapping in dough, and shipping those candied yams to Dessert Town. What's that? You think we should be taking the candied yams to Candyland? Pfft, get out of here, that's not a real place. To Dessert Town!

Leftover Makeover: Sweet Potato Dessert Empanadas
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  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 24 large marshmallows
  1. :::empanadas:::
  2. Mix the mashed sweet potatoes, molasses, brown sugar, butter, and salt together well so all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. If you have a stand mixer, use it to mix your dough. Otherwise, get ready for some manual labor. Mix all your ingredients for the dough, and make sure the butter is well distributed.
  4. Form into a ball, wrap loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.
  5. Make a bunch of little balls that are roughly the same size — I usually get 20-24 balls out of this dough recipe. Roll them into 3- to 4-inch circles and lay them out on baking sheets lined with wax paper without overlapping them. Stick them back into the fridge (or freezer) until you're ready to use them.
  6. Fill dough rounds by placing about 3-4 tablespoons of filling on one half of the circle.
  7. Brush half of each round with egg wash.
  8. Fold the other half over, and roll the edge, starting from one end and angling your roll toward the opposite side. Make sure it's tight enough that it won't pop open when you fry it. You can alternately crimp them with a fork, making sure to form a tight seal.
  9. You can save these in the fridge for a couple days, or even freeze them until you're ready to cook them (let them thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you try to fry them if you do freeze them).
  10. :::frying:::
  11. Heat 3-4 inches of vegetable oil in a deep pan like a Dutch oven to about 350°F.
  12. Fry the empanadas in batches without overfilling the pan, about 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides, flipping halfway through.
  13. Remove using a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined tray or cookie rack.
  14. Slice marshmallows in half lengthwise and stick two halves to the top of each empanada.
  15. Use a broiler or crême brulée torch to toast the marshmallows.
  16. :::baking:::
  17. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  18. Brush empanadas with egg wash.
  19. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
  20. Slice marshmallows in half lengthwise and stick two halves to the top of each empanada.
  21. Use a broiler or crême brulée torch to toast the marshmallows.
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