Pumpkin Pie Empanadas Recipe

I love baking. Okay, what I actually love is the end product of baking.

Strike that.. I love the idea of baking.  I hate the actual hassle of baking.

Actually… I think I kind of hate baking.  It’s messy, it takes forever, I usually end up burning something and it’s messy.  Did I mention that?  I hate doing messy things.  Mostly because I hate having to clean it up.  I already have a 3-year-old who is nothing more than a little bundle of chaotic energy.  I don’t like having to clean up my baking messes and then wrangle a sugared up tot on top of that.

But I still bake.

Why?!  You may ask.  The answer is simple:  That smile my son gives me when I bake him a batch of cookies is simply to die for.

So I continue to bake, and since I can’t be happy with simple chocolate chip cookies, I experiment.

Because that’s what us cooks are at heart;  Mad scientists who like to see their families happy and with full bellies.


In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon (I don’t know what struck me to put cinnamon in the dough, but in the end, it was an awesome idea).

Add in the cold butter and begin cutting it into the dry mixture.  I ended up using a fork because I don’t have a nifty pastry cutter.  Next shopping trip I am buying a pastry cutter.  Forking the mixture took way to long!

When the butter is cut in, the mixture will look a bit like lumpy cornmeal.  Mine looks weird because I got impatient with the fork and started mixing it by hand.  Big no-no because the butter will start to melt from the heat of your hands.

Whisk your egg and milk together, pour into your butter-flour mixture and mix thoroughly.

Now you can knead the dough out on a lightly floured surface, separating it into 2 balls.   I ended up adding a bit of extra flour in because my balls were sticky.

…No one likes sticky balls.

Wrap your balls in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for around 30 minutes.  Chilled balls are easier to work with.

(Okay, enough with the ball innuendo… OK, just one more.)

While your balls are getting frosty, its time to start working on your filling.

Place your pumpkin puree, spices and vanilla extract in a medium sauce pan on low heat and allow the mixture to warm through until the spices become aromatic.

I ended up adding the measured spices and then adding more because I love my cinnamon and clove.

Remove from heat and whisk in egg, salt, and sugar.    Place the filling in the fridge to chill while you roll out the dough.

Take one ball of dough out and roll out on a lightly floured surface until its about 1/8″ thick.   Using a pizza cutter you can slice rectangular pieces to make into the crust.


I couldn’t find my pizza cutter anywhere so I used my over-sized cookie cutters that I had recently got.   Place the cut dough on a baking sheet and return to the fridge, and do the same with the second batch of dough.

Whisk one more egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, cover one side of dough with  the egg wash.  Place a dollop of the pumpkin filling in the center of the dough round, about a tablespoon, will do the trick.

I decided to go the empanada route with my pop tarts since I already had circular crusts.  I folded over the crust so the edges met and using a fork, crimped the edges to hold them together.

Poke the center of each with the fork do you don’t have exploding desserts and place in the oven preheated at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

I brushed the tops of the pies with the remaining egg wash and sprinkled them with a liberal dose of cinnamon sugar before placing in the oven.  YUM!

When the bottoms are a nice golden brown remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

A little labor intensive, but boy was my tot’s smile worth it!