Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

Cinnamon sugar dusted mini pie pockets or empanadas with a spiced  pumpkin filling in  a crescent moon shape.
Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

For my recipe of the day, I am sharing a wonderful little dessert recipe which is pumpkin crescent moon empanadas, as part of my first outing with the blogging group Eat the World.

This group will be visiting different countries each month and sharing recipes from those cuisines. But for this month, as part of a special Halloween, we are sharing recipes from around the world for this usually Irish and United States holiday.

However,  there are other countries which have their own unique food items which seem spookily applicable, such as Curry Debal (Devil Curry) from Malaysia, or Pan Dulce from Mexico for Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), and  others, such as Barmbrack bread from Ireland.

Halloween Before Trick-or-Treats

Originally, Halloween was a seasonal festival celebrated by the Celts,  and other pagans as the Gaelic festival Samhain  (sow-een), which marked the end of the harvest. As you might expect, the festival,  or sabbat, began at sunset. However,  over time, except for the neo-pagan movement, the holiday has basically taken on a secular nature that ontime former pagans who aligned with Christianity just didn’t give up the fun of.

Bonfires and  jack-o-lanterns still prevail,  although much of the meaning is forgotten. But as the time of year directly between the autumn equinox and  yuletide,  it is a time when the “veil” between the worlds of the living and the dead are at their thinnest, and  often the spirits would roam the earth. So to make the spirits of family long passed feel welcome, as well as ward off malevolent spirits, jack-o-lanterns with smiling faces lit the doorways to greet them with a smile.

Over time,  beggars night and trick-or-treating became kids going door to door, dressed as spirits wishing to be appeased. Thus, give them the candy or get your house teepeed (Trick-or-Treat!).

Mexican for Dia de Muertos

My recipe is a Mexican inspired one, and  might represent the type of food left upon a sabbat altar for the Day of the Dead, and with pumpkin being popular both in Mexico and autumn tables everywhere, it seemed apropos. Plus, the shape of the empanada reminds me of the moon, which figures in harvest festivals in a very large way.

Generally speaking, foods left upon the altar are not meant to be eaten, but left there overnight, and in the morning, when the spiritual essence of the food has been “consumed” by the dead, the food is simply discarded.

Not that you will ever get any one to discard these, as they are too delicious. And I am sure the spirits will not mind if we do not waste them but gobble them up instead.

Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

Eat the World

Halloween Around the World

Eat the World
Check out all the wonderful Halloween around the World recipes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

CAMILLA: Atole de Pinole y Vainilla
AMY: Pan de Muerto (Mexican Day of the Dead Bread)
JULI: Toum Lebanese Garlic Sauce
Evelyne: Thai Sweet Potato Curry Cricket Recipe
Claudia: Panellets de Pinyons Cookies
Wendy: Blood Orange Prosecco Cocktail
Simply Inspired Meals: Halloween Soul Cakes
Sue: Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

  • Servings: 48
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

Cinnamon Sugar Sprinkle

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Stir together softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla powder.
  3. In a separate small bowl. mix cinnamon sugar sprinkle.
  4. Using one sheet of pie dough at a time, cut into three inch circles using a biscuit cutter.
  5. Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough round, and press edges closed with the tines of a fork.
  6. Place empanadas on  a baking sheet and cut 2-3 small slits into the top of the dough with a paring knife (to let steam escape).
  7. Bake for twenty minutes, then take pan out and inspect the empanadas for ones that leak, pressing  down on the edges again with a fork if any do (there will be an escapee, I promise you).
  8. Return pan to over and bake for ten minutes more.
  9. Roll  empanadas around in the cinnamon sugar to coat, then let them cool on a wire rack.

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas

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Where to Purchase Equipment and Ingredients
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4 responses

  1. Wow, those empanadas look great. I also like your historical summary — I think it captures the way historians view it now.

    best, mae

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