Dsc 1957 Edited

Today, I'm grateful for parchment paper.

I know. You were probably expecting something a little more meaningful from my life than parchment paper. And sometime in the next 22 days, I'll deliver something a little more meaningful than my favorite baking supplies.

But tonight, it's parchment paper. And here's why…

Dsc 1968 Edited

You know that feeling towards the end of the day? How you feel after making dinner, serving dinner, and cleaning up after dinner. How you feel after making 3 desserts, strategically storing them so they won't be eaten before you can photograph tomorrow, and trying to wrap up your post for the day?

How you feel after an hour and a half of waiting outside in the cold to vote, followed by hours of political analysis, and a nail biting election?

And  you just don't want to do any more dishes ever again??

Dsc 1973 Edited

And then you remember that you used parchment paper and there are no dishes waiting for you.


I'm a tiny bit tired and lazy most of the time. Which is why I decided to make these empanadas baked, and not fried (like Taco Bell makes theirs). Don't worry, I'm not making them any healthier (it's pie crust!), but I'm making it a lot less messy and a lot less effort.

Tacobell Caramel Empanada Recipe


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups peeled & sliced tart apples
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 premade pie crusts
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar for sprinkling


  1. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and flour; set aside.
  2. Bring apples and water to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until apples are tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar flour mixture, caramel topping and butter.
  4. Unroll the pie crusts and roll out to be just a smidge thinner than it already is. Use a cereal bowl to trace and cut out a circle of the dough. You should be able to get 2 circles out of each pie crust.
  5. Spoon 1/4 of the apple mixture onto one half of each of the circles, leaving about 1/2 inch of the edges uncovered.
  6. Wet the edges of the pie crusts with a little water, and fold over the circle in half. Use a fork to press and seal the edges.
  7. Brush the egg whites over the top of each hand pie. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Place each empanada on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm!