Dessert Empanadas Are The Encore That Your Picnic Needs

Packing for picnics is a true art form. Yes, these outings are an ideal way to celebrate warm weather by sipping on wine and munching on charcuterie boards — but with all the heat and transportation involved, not every food will work here. If you're not sure what to bring, we've rounded up a whopping 56 recipes ideal for a sunny picnic. But the one food you should definitely include that's not on the list? Dessert empanadas.

As you know if you're familiar with empanadas, they're an ideal snack to enjoy on the go, which is why they're a beloved street food all across Europe and Latin America. Because they feature a filling completely ensconced in dough, you can eat them with your hands without getting your clothes (and face) messy. And while savory empanadas are best hot and fresh, sweet versions are delicious when consumed cold, so they're much easier to transport in a cooler. Plus, it's easy to switch up the filling flavors, so you can bring a variety of options to the picnic blanket that will satisfy everyone's palette.

Use pie fillings and sweet spreads to conclude your picnic

Feel free to make the dough for dessert empanadas from scratch, which involves combining flour, butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and optional flavorings like cinnamon and vanilla extract. Just like with other doughs, you'll want to form a ball, cover it in plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge until it's ready to be rolled out. You can use a round cutter to separate the discs, which you'll later fold in half around the filling. Or, skip these steps and pick up store-bought empanada dough, which comes in packages meant for baking or frying.

When it comes to stuffing your pockets, think of your favorite pie fillings (potentially with these tasty additions — boozy dessert empanadas, anyone?). Summer is a great time to break out berry jam, lemon curd, marmalade, or fruit-based pie filling (like strawberry, peach, cherry, or plum), while a fall picnic may call for an apple or pumpkin pie mixture. Regardless of the season, however, you can also pack your treats with caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, Nutella, or dulce de leche — either plain or with some small fruity chunks, chocolate chips, or heath bits mixed in. Once they're sealed and fried (or baked), top your desserts with a sprinkle of powdered or cinnamon sugar, a drizzle of your favorite sweet sauce or nut butter, or an egg wash and sugar in the raw.