Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Hand Pies with Maple Glaze

Sorry for the hiatus folks, but don't worry, I've got plenty planned for the coming weeks.  After all, with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, 'tis the season for Holiday baking, which is my favorite kind of baking.  Cold weather flavors are deep, rich, warm and comforting, like a blanket for your mouth.  Actually, that sounds disgusting, forget that.  I need to work on my metaphors.

The point is:  Pie.  This point should always be pie, if you ask me.  Many of us will be making pie for the coming holidays, as is tradition, probably of the pumpkin, apple or pecan varieties.  But why not switch it up a little?  Make these hand pies.  They're like dessert in cute, portable, edible packages. And they're also delicious, which is nice.

I originally made these for a friend's birthday.  He was having a party and requested pumpkin pie, and I wanted to make something that wouldn't require everyone to get out a plate and fork.  I was very pleased with how they came out, and if you find yourself going to a Christmas party or potluck-style Thanksgiving, these would be a perfect contribution to the dessert table.

Pumpkin Hand Pies with Maple Glaze (adapted from the Pumpkin Empanadas in The Homesick Texan Cookbook)

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks (16 Tbsp) butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 15-oz. can of pumpkin puree
1 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Egg Wash
1 large egg
2 Tbsp milk

Maple Glaze
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1-3 Tbsp milk

For the crust:
Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in dry ingredients on low speed or by hand until the dough comes together.  Shape dough into a 1 inch thick round disk, wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the filling:
Combine all the filling ingredients.  Boom.  Done.

To assemble the pies:
Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a cookie sheet (or use a handy-dandy silpat or parchment paper).  Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/8" thick.  Cut in 3.5-4" rounds.  I don't have a round cutter that size, so I used an upside-down cup as a guide and cut around it with a knife to make a bigger circle.  Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle and then fold the dough over like a taco.  Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.

Mix together the egg and milk and brush over the top of the crust to make it nice and brown in the oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pies are golden brown.

For the glaze:
Mix together the powdered sugar and maple syrup.  Add the milk a little at a time until you have a good consistency for drizzling.  Drizzle the mixture over the pies.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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