Baked cheese empanadas are a healthier altenative to the traditional fried cheese empanadas known as empanadas de viento. I love empanadas and whiel there are so many different types of empanada fillings, and I have yet to try one that I didn’t like, my favorite is the most basic filling: cheese and onion. It is easiest and quickest filling to make, and if you are using the store bought empanada discs (for baking) the whole process is very quick and produces a great appetizer or breakfast. These savory cheese empanadas contrast well with the sugar on top of the empanadas and this is something characteristically Ecuadorian. We sprinkle sugar on the top of cheese empanadas, both baked and fried versions. This is something that my boys love, if there’s a choice of different empanadas on the table, they will choose the ones with sugar on top.
The challenge with empanadas, especially cheese empanadas, is to keep them from leaking when they are baking. A good way to keep them from leaking is to use egg whites to help seal the empanadas, and it also helps to let them rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking. Despite this I always have at least one empanada that leaks every time, it must be because I overstuff the empanadas, I just can’t resist the idea of having as much gooey cheese as possible.