Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweet Treats: Pumpkin Empanadas

Empanadas can be sweet or savory stuffed treats, but layers of puff pastry and deep frying can weigh down the classic recipe. My grandmother used to take a quick shortcut by using wonton wrappers for the dough; pre-cut to the perfect size and at only 20 calories per wrapper, this treat is guilt free. To see the healthier brands I used for this recipe scroll to the bottom of the recipe.
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 can pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tbsp organic raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cooking spray
  • basting brush

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix pumpkin pie mix (if you only have canned pumpkin you can add your own ground clove, cinnamon & nutmeg to flavor), sugars & an extra sprinkle of cinnamon until combined.

Set up a little assembly workspace. Lay a small stack of wontons on a plate with the bowl of pumpkin mix and a small bowl of a beaten egg white next to the plate. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set nearby.

Assembly: Peel one wonton wrapper from the stack and lay in the center of the plate so one of the points are facing you, so wrapper is a diamond instead of a square. Using a small basting brush (dipping your finger works well, too), moisten the two edges that are further away. In the center of the wonton add a full teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture. Fold the corner of the wonton up and over the mixture and seal onto the egg white brushed ends. Press down gently from each side, and distribute the mixture evenly in the pocket you create.

Secure your seal by pressing the edge of a fork around the sealed ends, creating a crimped seal. This will keep the empanada from opening up in the oven. Take care not to overstuff, not only because it's trickier to seal the empanada, but also because the filling might leak out during baking.

Using a spatula, transfer the empanada to the greased baking sheet. Repeat until you've made the desired amount of empanadas. Once all the empanadas are formed, brush the tops of each with egg whites. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and flip each empanada. Brush opposite sides of empanadas with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for an additional 6-8 minutes until edges are golden brown.

Let empanadas cool for a few minutes before serving. I used granulated raw sugar to finish these, but if I was taking them to a party, I would use powdered sugar for a more festive appearance. Also, both the pumpkin mix and the wrappers can last up to a week in the fridge if well sealed. To curb Bill's and my ravenous sweet tooths, I opt to make these a dozen at a time, so we don't eat too many at once!

Brands I Like

This pumpkin pie mix from Whole Foods has the perfect balance of spices.

These wonton wrappers are readily found in most super markets. If you're having trouble locating them, they are often found with the tofu products.

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