These mushroom turnovers are my version of my all-time favorite appetizer from Trader Joe’s. I was in my local TJ’s looking for some easy (as in, I don’t have to make them) appetizers for Thanksgiving last month and I didn’t see these in their usual freezer section. Yes, I used to make them often enough that I knew exactly what freezer section they should be in. Imagine my shock and horror when an employee told me that they had been discontinued! Way to break my mushroom loving heart, Trader Joe’s. I moped my way to finding some other options for Thanksgiving, but I vowed that I would recreate these at home on a less frantic day so I could relive their glory at least one more time.
And I am so glad that I did, because these turnovers are so full of creamy mushroom and caramelized onion flavor packed into a buttery crust that I could eat them for all of my meals. I made them bigger than a typical turnover so I get get more of the filling into every bite, and made the most delicious, flaky pie dough from Joy the Baker that is crispy but still basically melts in your mouth. For the filling I sauteed mushrooms and onions until the onions were sweet, and added a bit of cream cheese to take the whole thing to the next creamy level. My kids loved them, I loved them, my mushroom-averse husband even liked them. They are sure to impress at a party, or you could hoard them for yourself and have them for dinner.
To make the pie dough, cut the butter into small pieces and stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, then sprinkle the butter over the top. Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour, until the butter pieces are between the size of an oat flake and a pea. Create a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk, then use a fork to mix the dough together, until all of the flour is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. The dough will still be pretty shaggy; don’t worry as long as you can shape the whole thing into two disks that you can wrap in plastic and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
While the dough chills, make the filling. Add the butter to a large saucepan and melt it over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and chopped mushrooms, along with the salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms have released and reabsorbed their liquid and the onions are golden brown. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and add it to the pan, stirring until it has melted and the whole mixture is creamy. When you’re ready to roll out the pie dough, preheat the oven to 400°F and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Take out one of the disks of dough and roll it out on the countertop until it is about ¼” thick. Take 3” biscuit cutter or a large measuring cup and cut out circles of dough. I got 8 circles after gathering the leftover scraps and gently rerolling them. Place the circles on one of the prepared baking sheets, then put it in the fridge while you roll out and cut the other disk of dough. Once all the circles are cut, brush them with a beaten egg. Place a small spoonful of the filling on each circle, then fold the circle over in half and seal shut by pressing the outside edges with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the turnovers are golden brown. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cold and cut into small cubes
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- To make the dough, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture using your fingers, until the butter pieces are between the size of an oat flake and a pea. Create a well in the middle of the bowl and add the buttermilk. Use a fork to bring the dough together, until all of the flour is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Don’t worry that the dough is still shaggy; it’s supposed to be. Divide the dough into two disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for at least 1 hour. While the dough chills, make the filling.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and saute until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has evaporated, and the onions are golden brown. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and add it to the pan. Stir until the cream cheese has melted into the pan and the filling is creamy.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Take one of the dough disks out of the refrigerator. Roll out the dough to a little over a ¼” thick. Use a large biscuit cutter or a large measuring cup to cut out 6 to 8 circles in the dough. Place the circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place them in the refrigerator while you roll and cut out the other disk of dough. Once you’ve cut out all the circles you can, you can join the scraps of dough together and re-roll it and cut a few more.
- Brush each circle lightly with the egg wash and place a teaspoonful of filling in the center. Fold each circle in half and press the edges lightly together with a fork.
- Use a fork to firmly press the edges together, and poke a few tiny holes in the top of each half-circle. Bake the turnovers for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.