Butternut Squash Hand Pies


Do you have a hobby? You know, something you do for fun and just for fun, a creative outlet, something that helps clear your mind and something you just simply enjoy doing.

Maybe cooking is your hobby. Maybe that’s why you’re here. If so, HI!!

I’m in search of a hobby. I want to find something I enjoy doing, just for fun with no pressure to be good at it. A lot of times I’ll try something and want to be amazing at it and then I try it, and obviously fail at being amazing since it’s my first time, and then want to give up. Lame. Not this time! I just wanna chill out, man. I wanna like screen print a shirt, or do some pottery.

And I know this might sound a little bit like a mid-life crisis situation (I’m neither in the middle of my life nor in crisis, but even if I was SO WHAT! WHO CARES!), but I think hobbies are important. I think creating things is important.

Even if you do something creative as a job, it’s kind of nice to do a new creative thing where failing doesn’t matter. Who cares if you suck at knitting?! You can always just buy a sweater if you need it. Who cares if you suck at pottery? You got plates!

Sometimes failing or succeeding isn’t all that important. The doing is what’s important.

If cooking is your hobby, I gotz something for you to do!

Take the jump, let’s make some pieeee.

Look at this butter all nice and tall!

These hand pies start with the making of pastry dough.

I like to grate the cold butter on top of the flour, transfer it to the freezer, and then mix it all up.

I do this same thing with biscuits, too!

Water goes into the flour mixture and two big dough balls are formed. They go into the fridge for 1 hour. While they’re chilling out, you can make the filling.

I roasted half of a small butternut squash, scooped all the stuff out (while hot) and mixed it with the spices.

Listen, if you’re being super lazy, you can use canned pumpkin puree and make these pumpkin hand pies. It’s cool.

Cooking at home isn’t about constraints, it’s about finding solutions with what you have, you know (and that includes time)?!

Little butternut squash dollops are placed in the center of each baby pie circle.

Another pie circle is placed on top and the two become one.

Score the top of each baby hand pie, brush it with egg wash and top with a sprinkling of coarse sugar. In the oven and BOOM!

You can eat five of these lil’ guys and not realize it, making them the perfect size! Dangerous!

They’re not overly sweet, which I love. The crust is flakey, slightly sweet and the filing tastes like fall. I recommend taking these dudes out of the oven, letting them cool for 5 minutes and then eating them warm. There’s nothing better!

Now, what’s your hobby? Should your hobby be my new hobby?

Butternut Squash Hand Pies

Print this recipe!

Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup cold water, plus 2 tablespoons

Pie Filling:
1/2 small butternut squash (weighing 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 large egg

Egg Wash and etc.:
1 large egg, plus 1 tablespoon beaten
2 tablespoons coarse sugar

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter atop the flour mixture. Transfer to the freezer to chill for 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out your cold water and add a few ice cubes.

2. Working quickly, and using your hands, break the butter bits into the flour until they resemble the size of small peas. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix using your hands. This is a little bit of a messy process but it goes quickly! The mixture will be super crumbly at this point. From here, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together. I ended up adding about 4 more tablespoons of water, equaling the measurement above. This may vary for you. The dough shouldn’t be too wet, it’s fine if it’s a little crumbly. The moisture will distribute throughout the dough while it’s chilling out in the fridge. Lightly dust your counter or work space, and dump the dough onto it. Knead a few times more until it comes together and divide the dough, forming two discs. Wrap both discs in plastic and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

3. Phew! Pie dough is done! Time to work out the filling. Preheat your oven to 375F. On a lined baking sheet, place the butternut squash face down and transfer to the oven to cook for 30 minutes, or until tender.

4. Scoop out the butternut squash and place in a bowl (you can discard the seeds). Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Do a little taste test to see if you want more sugar or more spices. I liked it like this. Add the egg and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

5. Generously flour your counter or work space and rolling pin. Unwrap the first disc of dough and place it onto your counter. Flatten the dough slightly, rolling it outward in each direction. Pick up the dough and rotate it. Repeat the process of rolling it outward in each direction, and rotating every few moments, until you have a sheet that’s about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out circles using a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Transfer the pastry circles to a baking sheet and place in the fridge until you’re read to use. Repeat the whole process with second disc. You should have about 24 circles. Discard the dough scraps (or bake them up separately for a snack!).

6. To assemble the hand pies: place a scant teaspoon of the filling onto the center of 12 of the pastry circles. Wet your index finger with water and run it along the outside rim of each pastry circle. Top each pastry circle with filling with another pastry circle. Crimp the edges using a fork until they are sealed.

7. Transfer the hand pies to a parchment lined baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F.

8. Take the hand pies out of the fridge and brush with egg wash. Top with a sprinkling of coarse sugar and bake for 15-17 minutes, and until golden brown.

Yields 12 hand pies

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Carin October 29, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I started making beaded jewellery a while ago (inspired in part by a long running half-price sale at the local bead shop). Great for making gifts for others ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Betsy October 29, 2012 at 2:10 am

    So pretty & they look delicious!

  • Reply Margherita October 29, 2012 at 2:35 am

    These are amazing!!!! I have some leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge, I’m so gonna give it a try…

  • Reply Sarah October 29, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Yum! Again, I’ll be saving this recipe to make soon. I’m with ya on feeling the need for a hobby lately, I think it’s the change in seasons. As for me, I just ordered a vintage needlepoint kit on Etsy. It’s a cactus scene at sunset. If it’s a success I’ll turn it into a pillow (or maybe it will just sit in the bottom of a drawer half finished.. more likely!)

  • Reply Blog is the New Black October 29, 2012 at 5:17 am

    I dabble in baking and cooking and crafting….. semi good at all, but no other hobbies, ha!

  • Reply Domini Baker-Strayer October 29, 2012 at 5:35 am

    My hobby is knitting. Once you get started it is relaxing and the end result keeps you or someone else cozy. There is also an amazing and encouraging online community for knitters/crocheters called Ravelry. If you are so inclined check it out!

  • Reply Abby@ Totes Delish October 29, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Baking all the way! If it gets screwed up, you can usually eat the batter : )

  • Reply Bri October 29, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Baking and cooking are my winter hobbies, quad line stunt kites are my summer obsession. Because, really, it’s impossible to take yourself too seriously or think about work when you’re flying a kite. Plus, the people are fantastic.

  • Reply jaime @ sweet road October 29, 2012 at 7:11 am

    What a great idea! I love individual desserts. If I have a full pie sitting around then I’ll be taking little slivers each time I pass by, but with individual desserts you can be satisfied eating just one and making sure friends get some too!

  • Reply allie@sweetpotatobites October 29, 2012 at 7:44 am

    baking is definitely one of my hobbies…and I will for sure be making this!

  • Reply Tiffany D. October 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I love to knit! Get the book Stitch n’ Bitch if you want to learn. Before you know it, you’ll be making scarves!

  • Reply Michelle October 29, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Is traveling a hobby? I want it to be. I want to do more of it, and be great at it.

    That crust looks so flaky!

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Oh for sure it is! I want to do more of that.

  • Reply Erin October 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I bake so I can have things to munch on while I quilt!

  • Reply laura @ glutton for nourishment October 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

    these look like something i definitely need to make!! yum.

  • Reply Let Me Eat Cake October 29, 2012 at 9:59 am

    i’m super in love with these! SUPER in love!

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

    These are so cute! I would say that cooking is my hobby, buuut at the same time you sorta have to eat to live, so it’s kind of a necessity!

  • Reply Jackie October 29, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Sooo making these! Talk about flaky crust! I would say cooking/baking is my hobby. But one I’ve been really wanting to try again is painting ceramics. So much fun and very relaxing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Megan October 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Reading is one of my hobbies. I don’t get to read for fun much because I have to read lots for my classes, but I dream of just sitting down, drinking a cup of tea, and reading a good book. I used to read for hours before bed every night, sometimes I would start and finish a book in one night!

    Yoga is also my hobby, although I’m not the best at it. Still learning and getting better each week!

    I’m also learning the guitar, though it’s going quit slowly. It’s lots of fun to finally learn a song after practicing for weeks.

    Of course, baking is the biggest hobby of mine! If I could, I would bake every single day. Sadly, the constraints of life prevent me from baking all the time, but I try to squeeze in something every week.

  • Reply Sarah October 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Those look delicious! I would say my hobbies are knitting, cooking and baking, and photography!

  • Reply Megan | Eats Daily October 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Cooking & photography are currently my only hobbies and I still have a LOT to learn- I recently started my own food site as a creative outlet! I would love to get into knitting, it seems so relaxing..

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance October 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

    These are adorable and look so delicious!!

    I use the same technique of grating the butter, but never thought to put it back into the freezer with the flour. GENIUS!

  • Reply Heidi @foodiecrush October 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Love anything that is mini and can fit easily in my hot little hand. Your crust look so flakey and how easy to make these savory too. Thanks for the post.

  • Reply Sarah October 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    These look lovely and delicious!! My Whole Foods sells canned butternut squash puree… and it’s good!

  • Reply Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen October 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    You totally just inspired to try this with my pasty recipe! I love that size…

  • Reply NikitaP October 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Cooking= love! ๐Ÿ™‚ and thats my hobby <3 But you already have a hobby that ur really good at, and you create something lovely with every post, no I'm not talking about your cooking… ๐Ÿ™‚ Its your WRITING i'm referring to… Love this line-
    "Cooking at home isnโ€™t about constraints, itโ€™s about finding solutions with what you have, you know (and that includes time)?!"

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Haha! Thanks, Nikita!

  • Reply tracie October 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    lovely hand pies! lovely post and the photography is so very warm and inviting.

    hobbies… i have so many creative outllets, sewing, painting. just finally started to knit. but my favorite is cooking. i do it every day, many days the cooking goes on all day. i do it with my whole heart and with passion.
    i’ve always seemed to cook, but not like i have in the last few years… maybe it is indeed a mid-life thing for me.
    bread and pastry making is like making magic to me.
    so happy to have found your blog!

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Tracie, you’re so lovely!

  • Reply gigi October 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    these are absolutely stunning and yummy looking. you sure your hobby isn’t cooking and photography? I love to cook, do makeup and clean but I guess I would say scrapbooking and writing are my hobbies. good luck finding yours! xx. gigi . food and beauty blogger @ http://www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

  • Reply shane oberle October 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Knitting! I learned from youtube. These pies look SO yummy! Something to try this weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shane, momma of twin boys

  • Reply In Your Hands « sumpretty October 30, 2012 at 5:27 am

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  • Reply Sara @ The Cozy Herbivore October 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Oh, these are too sweet! I really love savory pastries, and these handpies seem like just the thing to tuck into your bag for a warm autumn lunch.

    Can’t wait to give these babies a try, thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Denise October 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I would think cooking is your hobby? I know for me that cooking is more a hobby as well as photography and toss traveling in the mix and life is perfect. What about writing? You write for your blog; isn’t that a hobby? What about photography? You seem to be doing that as well. What about taking all three to another level. Maybe write some fiction or shoot something besides food? Seems to me that you have three hobbies right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Jen @ Savory Simple October 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

    These look really wonderful!

  • Reply Jess October 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Baking is my hobby, for sure. There’s something so comforting about the fact that if I cream butter and sugar, then add my wet and dry ingredients, I will get delicious cookies. It’s a major unwinding thing for me.

    Hey- do you think these would freeze well? And if so, freeze pre or post bake? My baby boy is loving his pureed squash, and I’m thinking that in a month or two when he graduates to textures he will love these. I just want to make them before the squash goes out of season. Thanks!

  • Reply Young Wifey October 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    You had me at butternut squash! Hobbies? I love cooking & baking, that is unless Hubster is hungry and in need of food. I love to kayak and hike (when it’s nice out). I love to dabble in many different crafts. Nothing necessarily to stick with, but TRYING new things in my hobby. Maybe yours too!

  • Reply Cass @foodmyfriend October 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I guess my blog is my hobby. Cooking is my job. . . maybe I just love what I do and don’t have time for a hobby. Oh no! Now I’m pondering that. These look way too yummy to eat.!

  • Reply Molly October 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Just wondering if this dough recipe would be fine for savory fillings too. My family tends to ignore my sweet baked goods but devour the savory. Anyways, I’d like to try this with some other fillings or even just something semi-sweet like sweet potato or maybe something with cheese inside…or meat maybe? Any tips?

    • Reply Adrianna October 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Yes, totally! Though, I would recommend leaving out the sugar. I think a sweet potato mix with brown sugar might be nice. Or if you do some ground beef and pan-fried potato cubes with tomato paste and a bunch of a spices, you’d basically be making empanadas. That’d be delicious!

  • Reply Carrie @ the cook's palette October 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    These look amazing!! They would make a perfect appetizer for the fall season. Will definitely be giving them a try. Thank you!

  • Reply Sarah@StrawberryPlum November 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I like the idea of grating the butter, seems easier than all that double knife business. I’ve been wanting to do an apple and cheddar hand pie; I think I’ll put this method to the test!

  • Reply Cath November 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Hey Adrianna,
    These look adorable! I’m thinking of making them for Friendsgiving potluck this year. Do you think I could make them in advance, freeze them, travel a few hours, then pop them into the oven once I arrive? Or would they not hold up over the travel time?

    What say ye? Thanks for the advice, and for being just generally badass in the kitchen…


    • Reply Adrianna November 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Cath! Hmm…that could work, possibly. I’d actually recommend baking them right before you leave, putting them in an airtight container and then popping them in an oven to warm them up before serving.

  • Reply Wanda @ My Sweet Zepol November 5, 2012 at 7:55 am

    You sound so much like me, I’ll try a hobby and feel like it’s not for me and put it aside. Always trying new things. Recently tried some jewel making (a kit that has everything you need to make about 10 pair of earnings). Made 4 of them and kinda put it aside. Will definitely finish them, anytime! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Will have to try your recipe, with some pumpkin for my family or Home Group from church. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply butternut squash November 18, 2012 at 5:05 am

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  • Reply Lisa Frank November 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Hi Adrianna,

    I’m creating a Thanksgiving dessert recipe round-up for my blog, Handcrafted Parties, and I was wondering if I could share one photo (with watermark) and links to this recipe and your blog homepage. These hand pies look so delicious and are perfect for my family’s “I’ll just have a little of everything” dessert philosophy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lisa Frank ๐Ÿ™‚

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