Empanadas de Nuez y Naranja con Relleno de Arándano y Jamaica ~ Pecan Orange Turnovers with Cranberry Hibiscus Filling

Pecan-Orange Empanadas with Cranberry Hibiscus Filling (H2)Do you remember that Cranberry Nut Bread that I was telling you about the other day? Well these cookies were completely inspired by that flavor combination. I swear you can’t go wrong when you combine nuts, cranberries, and oranges. Not only do they taste amazing together, but their combined smell in the oven is always heavenly!
Pecan-Orange Empanadas with Cranberry Hibiscus Filling (V1)These empanadas are definitely a “Flan and Apple Pie” recipe because they combine the best of both Mexican and American cultures. I started off with the empanada, a classic Latin-American cookie, and modernized it by incorporated fall ingredients like cranberries and oranges. I began with Sra. Nena’s basic empanada dough recipe. Then, I substituted toasted ground pecans for some of the flour. I also slipped in touch a  orange zest.

Then, I filled them with that festive cranberry-hibiscus jam I made the other day.  If you don’t feel like making this jam, you could use any gourmet store bought jam. The food shelf at TJ Maxx usually has some high-quality, delicious-looking jams! You should check it out sometime. I think some other great jam flavors would be raspberry, cherry, or even blackberry.

Pecan-Orange Empanadas with Cranberry Hibiscus Filling (H1)

Finally, after I baked them in the oven, I brushed them with some melted butter and tossed them in orange sugar. I absolutely love how the oils from the orange zest blend with the sugar to give it a spectacular citrus flavor.

In addition to tasting great, these cookies have a dramatic range of textures. From the crunchy orange sugar to the soft sweet jam, they  would be a great addition to any holiday table.

Pecan-Orange Empanadas with Cranberry Hibiscus Filling (V2)What are your favorite fall flavors? Do you have any flavor combinations that you love? Please share 🙂

empanadas dulces de nuez y naranja con relleno de Arándano y jamaica.

Click here for printable recipe.  

Empanadas de Nuez y Naranja (Makes about 24-26 cookies)

¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Zest of half an orange

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

About 1 cup of jam of your choice (I used cranberry-jamaica)

¼ cup sugar

Zest of half an orange

3-4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

→Put the pecans in a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir. Microwave for an additional 10 seconds and stir. The pecans should smell fragrant.

→Put the pecans in a small food processor and grind until they reach a fine texture. If you overgrind them they will turn into butter, so don’t be overzealous. Set aside.

→Place butter and sugar in bowl. Beat together on medium speed (about 2 minutes) until sugar is fully incorporated and butter is fluffy.

→Add the eggs, vanilla, orange zest, and pecans. Mix together (about 2 minutes) to incorporate.

→Add flour and baking powder. Beat just until combined. Do not overbeat or the dough will be tough.

→On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough with a rolling pin. The dough should be about 1/8-1/4” thick. Flour a 2 ½” circle cookie cutter and cut out as many circles as possible. Place on parchment lined sheet. Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.

→Place about 1 tsp+ of jam in the middle of each circle of dough. Fold the top of the circle down and press together with the bottom part to form a half moon. Repeat for all cookies. Use a fork to seal the edges so that the empanada does not explode open during baking.

→Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

→Thoroughly mix together the orange zest and sugar. Then, using a pastry brush, brush the top of each cookie with melted butter (only do 2 at a time!!!). Roll the buttered empanadas in the orange sugar. Place on cooling rack. Do NOT eat these cookies warm from the oven. You will burn your mouth on the hot jam.


  • This time I tried adding a fancier edge to the cookies. I folded the empanada shut as indicated in the directions. Then, I pressed the edges together to flatten them out even further. Finally, starting on one corner, I folded little pieces over to create a zig-zag edge. Check out this video.
  • Try not to put too much jam in your cookies. It has the tendency to ooze out, and the cookies just don’t look as pretty.

3 thoughts on “Empanadas de Nuez y Naranja con Relleno de Arándano y Jamaica ~ Pecan Orange Turnovers with Cranberry Hibiscus Filling

    • Nicole says:

      Yes, of course! Lola just made them with quince paste and jamaica jam for Valentine’s Day! I love that the dough is so versatile. Thanks for stopping by. 😉😘

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