Thursday, January 12, 2012

Somebody Make Me: Pumpkin Empanadas

At this point, it’s safe to assume it’s known that I can’t cook. I mean, I can, but I won’t. Every time I cook myself something special, I wind up spending $80 in groceries, and I never eat the leftovers. It doesn’t make sense for me to cook for myself. It makes sense for me to buy Hot Pockets and Kraft Mac & Cheese. Don’t give me that look. It tastes good. The only problem with not cooking for myself is that I come across recipes that look amazing, and that I’d love to try, but I’ll never make them. Because of this, I decided to regularly start posting recipes on this blog in hope that someone out there will take pity on my hungry little soul and make them for me.


Years ago, my friend Monique and I worked together and she made Pumpkin Empanadas to take to our work potluck. I love all sweet things pumpkin. (Read this next sentence like your Bubba from Forrest Gump) “Anyway, like I was sayin', pumpkin is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it.” There’s pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread…Monique’s pumpkin empanadas were obviously loved. I’ve been craving pumpkin empanadas for a while now, and I don’t see Monique around anymore, so I’m going to need someone to make some for me.

Here’s the receipt from the Muy Bueno Cookbook’s website:

Makes 24-30 empanadas

Pumpkin Filling


2 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed firmly

1 cup organic pumpkin, NOT pie filling

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves with the butter. Stir in the pumpkin and the spices. Continue to stir over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the filling is not too watery; otherwise let it cook for a couple more minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool down. After it’s cooled off for about 15 minutes, put the filling in the refrigerator to help it set for 30 minutes or overnight.

You can make the Empanada Dough while the filling is cooling off.

Empanada Dough


3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

2 eggs

½ cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar


Mix the first 3 dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening with the dry ingredients. Works better if you use your hands. Add the eggs, milk and sugar. Continue to work in with your hands. Split the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Take out one half of the dough and split it into 12-18 balls of dough. Depending on how small you want your empanadas. I prefer one dozen per half of the dough. They also fit nicely on one large cookie sheet.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You can fill your empanadas with any preserves made ahead of time.

Roll out the dough into small round circles. Add a small dollop of filling on one half of the rolled out dough. Wet the bottom edge of the dough with water to help seal the two halves. Fold over the dough to seal. Seal off the edges with a fork by pressing down along the two edges. This also makes for a pretty pattern when baked.

Brush each empanada with egg whites, sprinkle with sugar and puncture each empanada with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray, place the empanadas on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes on medium rack in the oven. If after 15 minutes you notice the bottoms of the empanadas starting to brown, move the cookie sheet to the top rack and continue to bake for the last 5 minutes.

Looks good, right? Any takers? Please?

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

Post by Amanda