Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll the dough until 1/8-inch-thick on a well-floured surface. Cut out 16 3-inch circles and set aside.
Put the frozen cherries in a blender and pulse until broken up into smaller chunks. Transfer to a medium pot and add the cornstarch, rum and panela. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the juices thicken. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Place 1 tablespoon of filling in center of a dough circle. Brush the edges with water and top with another circle. Crimp the edges closed with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Repeat process with remaining filling and dough.
Using a toothpick, poke 3 holes in the top of each sealed hand pie. Bake until pies are golden and puffed, about 15 minutes. Enjoy warm.