"Popular in Mexico, these sweet pocket pasteries are wonderful for breakfast or dessert. I like to top them with red, white & green large sugar crystals for Mexican holidays, celebrations and fiestas."
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut shortening into dry ingredients quickly until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Sprinkle with cold water and combine with a fork until dough just holds together.
Run hands under cold water for about 20 seconds, then dry them. Gather dough with cold hands and form into two balls. Cover one and refrigerate. Mold second ball into a patty shape.
Sprinkle a flat and clean surface with flour. Roll out dough evenly, sprinkling with flour as needed to prevent sticking, to a thickness of about 1/8 to 1/6-inch.
Using a cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut dough out into 4-inch circles. Dab a little water all around inside rim of dough circles to help make a good seal when folded over.
Place a scant tablespoon of jam or filling in the center. Fold dough in half to form a semi-circle. Pinch around edge to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press edge down with the teeth of a fork to seal further.
Repeat process with second dough ball.
Brush each empanada lightly with beaten egg. Cut two small vent slits in top of each. Sprinkle tops with decorating sugar or cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool further. Serve warm or store air-tight once completely cooled.