These are my Grandfather’s favorite. They bring him back to the days when his Mom use to make them for him as a child. He loves the cinnamon ginger taste of the gingerbread coupled with pumpkin. I live to see the smile on his face so I make sure to have a batch on my holiday table or just anytime I want to make his day a little brighter. They are not too sweet but make the perfect pair with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Try them as an alternative to pumpkin pie and your guests will be delighted to eat a hand held mini pie.
Makes 18 empanadas
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cream Cheese Pumpkin Empanadas:
For the dough:
- 3 – cups flour
- 3 – teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 – teaspoon baking powder
- 3- teaspoons ground ginger
- 5 – tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 – teaspoon salt
- 14 – tablespoons butter
- 2 – large eggs
- 4 – tablespoons dark molasses
For the egg wash:
- 1 – egg
- 1 – tablespoon water
For the pumpkin filling:
- 3/4 – cup pumpkin puree
- 1 – tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 – teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 – tablespoon dark brown sugar
For cream cheese filling:
- 4 – oz room temperature cream cheese
- 4 – tablespoons confectioners sugar
- Make the dough, by adding flour, ground cinnamon, baking powder, ground ginger, brown sugar, and salt to a food processor. Pulse to mix completely.
- Add butter, eggs, and molasses to flour mixture. Pulse to bring dough completely together.
- Remove mixture from food processor and knead with hands to fully incorporate your dough. Divide dough into 4 quarters and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the pumpkin filling, buy mixing all ingredients together with a mixer until mixture comes together. Remove from mixer and place in the fridge to set while you get the other ingredients together.
- Make the cream cheese filling my mixing cream cheese and confectioners sugar in a mixer for 2 to 3 minutes. Set to the side.
- On a clean surface roll out gingerbread dough to a 1/16 inch thickness. Then with a 3 inch circle cookie cutter cut out as many circles as possible. Divide the circles in half. You will need two circles for each empanada.
- Place 1/2 of the gingerbread circles on a baking mat lined cookie sheet.
- Make the egg wash, by mixing egg and water together.
- Now place 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each gingerbread circle. Then spread it just in the middle.
- Top with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin.
- With your finger brush the outside rim of gingerbread circle with egg wash. Then top with a gingerbread circle. Press down all along the edges with a fork to enclose the empanada. Then poke the fork on the top of the empanada and brush the entire top of the empanada with the egg wash. Repeat until all empanadas are done.
- Bake for 30 minutes