You know what one of my favorite things in the world is? Caramel apple empanadas from Taco Bell. I know, I know, not the healthiest thing ever, but they are just so good!
For awhile, I’ve been on the quest for the perfect copy cat recipe. I’ve found some that were good substitutes, but just not exactly what I was looking for. Either the caramel sauce was too thick, or it didn’t seem like the sauce was even there. If you’ve ever had one of these caramel apple empanadas, you’ll know that the oozing caramel is one of the best parts of it, followed by the sweet, flaky crust.
I found this recipe, which I used to help inspire the base of the empanada, and then I just made up the rest. And surprisingly, it turned out pretty delicious. The apple and caramel sauce tasted just like the kind at Taco Bell (maybe even a little bit better.) The dough was a bit thicker, so next time I make these, I’ll be rolling it out a little bit thinner. But overall, it was a success. I’ve had a hard time just eating one! I ended up baking them, just to make them a tad bit healthier, but if you deep fry them, I am sure they would taste just like the kind at Taco Bell.
There are several steps to making these, but I promise, it’s totally worth it.
- Apple Mixture
- 3 Apples
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 1/2 cups Bisquick
- 1 cup coconut milk cream, let can of coconut milk settle for 30 minutes; the cream will settle on top or heavy whipping cream
- Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter
- Peel and core apples, and chop into medium chunks. Place apples, water, brown sugar, and cinnamon into a medium sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Boil for five to ten minutes. Lower heat and let simmer until apples are soft.
- Using a potato masher, coarsely mash apples. Set aside.
- Mix Bisquick and coconut milk (or heavy cream) together in a large bowl until it turns into a thick dough. Place on a clean surface and knead for five minutes. Place back in bowl and set aside. It may take a few minutes to get the dough ball to form, but if you are having problems, use your hands to mix.
- Caramel Sauce
- Combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil, constantly whisking it. Let boil until sauce reaches desired consistency, whisking the whole time.
- Immediately after removing caramel sauce from the stove, pour into apple mixture. Mix together and set aside.
- Melt butter in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Put the dough ball out on clean surface, and using a rolling pin, roll it out to be about 1/4 inch thick. Using a large drinking glass, cut out circles for empanada dough. Remove circles from dough, and re-roll out the remaining dough to get more circles. Repeat until no dough remains.
- Taking one dough circle at a time, roll dough out until it is very thin. Holding the dough in your hand, brush one side lightly with butter, and dip that side into cinnamon sugar.
- Place a spoonful of caramel apple sauce into the center of the dough. Fold over, and seal shut with a fork by pressing the edges down. It is okay if caramel sauce seeps out a little bit.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes. Cool for five minutes on cooling rack, and serve warm.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.