Pumpkin Empanadas

These make a wonderful appetizer. Or dessert, a little like a hand pie. They are sweet and you can make them a bit more savory by reducing the brown sugar. They are addicting. Adapted from By Tablespoon Kitchens

Ingredients

Pastry Dough:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg

Pumpkin Filling:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg (for egg wash)

Directions

Set oven to 425 °F.

In mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Add butter and mix with beater until well blended. Add vegetable shortening; mix. Stir in water and egg and beat until well blended. The dough should stick together when held in your hand. Place mixture in a zip-top bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling: In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in the brown sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved into the butter. Stir in pumpkin and cinnamon. Stir over heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place pumpkin mixture in refrigerator to cool off completely. Filling must be cooled.

Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Take chilled pastry dough out of refrigerator and divide it in half. Return the remaining half to refrigerator. Divide dough you have into 6 balls. On a floured board or table, roll each ball into a circle with a rolling pin. Fill each circle with about 2 tablespoons cooled pumpkin filling. Fold one side of circle over and press down on the edges. You must press edges together to keep filling from running out. Take the remaining egg and put it into a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of water and beat. With pastry brush, brush egg wash on top of each empanada.

Place the first 6 empanadas on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden and the edges are lightly browned.

Take the rest of the pastry dough out of the refrigerator and follow the same instructions. When you are finished, you should have 12 empanadas.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

 Pumpkin

Now that it is officially autumn, and the appearance of “all things pumpkin” is everywhere, I thought this was a good way to kick off the season for my husband who loves pumpkin desserts. This was adapted by a recipe from “Two Peas & Their Pod” which is a wonderful blog. I think the next time I might cut down the amount of butter in the next batch and see if that works, or cut the recipe in half and bake in an 8 x 8 tin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tbs Pumpkin Pie Spice (recipe Below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 can canned pumpkin puree ( I used Trader Joe’s Organic)
  • 3/4 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Pumpkin Pie Spice:

  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Roasted Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves

Mix together and keep in a jar.

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. With a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix well. The mixture will look somewhat curdled. Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

4. Cool bars completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve.

24 bars