In a food processor blend salt, baking powder and flour until thoroughly combined. Add cubed butter and ice cold water, alternating, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Remove mixture from processor and knead until a soft, pliable dough forms.
On a floured surface kneed dough for one minute. Form into two balls and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer to fridge for no less than three hours or overnight.
Working with one ball at a time on a floured surface, roll dough out to a 1/8 of an inch thick. Tip: Flip dough over and turn occasionally while rolling to prevent sticking.
Using a five-inch diameter bowl cut the dough into circles. Add a sheet of wax paper in-between each disc to prevent sticking. Repeat steps with remaining dough ball. Tip: For smaller empanadas use a smaller measuring bowl.
Using one disc as a time add 2 tablespoons of cheese or guiso de papas to the center of the disc. Fold the disc over until the edges meet.
Using a fork, press down on the edges. Fold the edges over and press again with the prongs of a fork being careful not to pierce the empanada pocket.
Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan until it ripples. Continue making empanadas. Tip: Unused discs can be stored in a freezer wrapped in plastic wrap and protected from freezer burn in a zip lock bag for up to three months.
Fry empanadas until golden brown and bubbled on both sides, about 2 minutes, carefully flipping half way through. Tip: Make sure not to crowd the empanadas or the oil temperature will drop and your empanadas will be soggy and oily instead of crisp, crunchy and dry.
Garnish empanadas with finely chopped cilantro sprinkled on top and enjoy!