With pumpkin recipes all around, I decided to use a recipe calling for a butternut squash. The most time consuming thing about this is roasting the squash prior to making it into a puree. Next time, I will roast and make the puree one day and continue on with the muffins the next day. The muffins turned out very moist and sweet, so I declined to add any topping or glaze. The flavor will even pass the taste test of the pickiest (veggie hater) member at the table.
Jumbo Harvest Squash Muffins
adapted from latartinegourmand.com
3 cups roasted butternut squash
5 1/4 cups flour
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups of walnut halves
3/4 cup pecan halves
1 cup pumpkin seeds*
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp nutmeg
2 1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 1/8 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in fourths and scrape out all seeds. Place face up in a 9X13 pan with 1/2 cup of water in bottom. Cook for 1 hr or more, until all areas are fork tender. Once roasted, set aside to cool.
Put nuts and seeds in a shallow pan and toast in oven for 15 minutes.
When the squash has cooled, scoop out flesh and place in blender or food processor to puree. You may need to add a little water to help smooth the texture. Set aside 3 cups. Depending on how big your squash is, you may end up with more than 3 cups. The excess amount can sit in fridge for up to 3 days or be frozen.
The nuts and seeds, when cooled, are to be ground into a fine powder. A blender or spice grinder can be used for this process. Put aside once completed.
Making the muffins:
Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees.
In a medium size bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (flour, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt). Add the nuts and seed mixture with a wooden spoon until all is incorporated. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together both types of sugar and canola oil. It should all be evenly distributed after about 3 minutes. Then put in the butternut squash and beat for another 2 minutes. Each egg will need to be mixed in, beating after each addition. This is the last use of the electric mixer, so you can put it away.
With a wooden spoon, fold in half of the buttermilk and half of the flour mixture into the squash batter. Once combined, repeat until there are few flour streaks.
For your pan, put oil around the top opening of the muffin hole and place muffin paper inside hole. With a large spoon or regular ice cream scoop, fill each muffin paper at least 3/4 full. You can fill higher if you want a bigger top.
Bake in oven 20-35 minutes or until tester comes out clean, tops should be a golden brown. After baking, remove muffins from pan and place on rack to cool. If you go over to the link, there you will find a recipe for 2 loaves.
*here in Texas, pumpkin seeds are easily found in the snack aisle of Wal-Mart. If your grocer does not have them, you might try using sunflower seeds.