Monday, November 19, 2012

Butternut Squash Muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins

Last week, Dale was in Nicaragua doing super cool coffee things. Because he's cool and talented and interesting like that. While he was gone, I remembered a few things that I'd forgotten since having Dale around all the time:

1. Sometimes, I forget to eat dinner.

2. I'm pretty sure that my cat loves laying next to me on the couch more than anything in the entire world.

3. I need someone around to talk to at home, otherwise, I descend into nonsensical one-sided conversations with my cat. It's pretty normal.

4. I get really cold at night. Like really.

Butternut Squash Muffins

So, while Dale was off doing adventurous, awesome things, I was here working on a paper, which I presented at a conference on Saturday, and I was working on a contract. Totally thrilling, right? Then, I roasted a butternut squash, stirred in some sugar and spices and things, sprinkled with streusel, and ate these muffins.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a huge pumpkin lover, aside from my serious adoration for pumpkin pie during the holidays. Squash on the other hand is a whole different story. I've been eating some maaad squash lately. Acorn squash stuffed with quinoa or sausage or veggies or all of the above. Creamy, sweet-spicy butternut squash soup. And apparently, butternut squash streusel muffins.

Butternut Squash Muffins

I ate these muffins sitting on my balcony in sun beams, much like an aforementioned kitten, with a cup of V60-ed coffee drank out of a baby blue coffee cup, much like an aforementioned Dale. It was quite the perfect solitary late morning breakfast situation. Plus, these muffins are sort of to die for. And how could they not be--look at that color!

This is basically to tell you that you need not worry about Thanksgiving or next day breakfast. I've got you covered. A soft, warm, light muffin with a smear of butter and good cup of hot coffee is all you'll need. What with the turkey-stuffing-tater-pie coma of the Thanksgiving meal. And it's just spiced and squashy and fall-colored enough to keep with the holiday spirit. It's a muffin kind of calm.

Butternut Squash Muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins
adapted from Pastry Affair's Butternut Squash Marble Loaf
makes 12 muffins

For butternut squash puree
1 large butternut squash, halved lengthways and scraped of seeds

For streusel
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
45 g (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
42 g (3 Tbsp.) cold butter, cubed

For muffins
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
370 g (1 1/2 cups) butternut squash puree
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
108 g (1/2 cup packed) light brown sugar
100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Make squash puree. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with foil. Place butternut squash cut side down on the cookie sheet. Roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Let cool for 15-20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scrape the soft squash from the skin into a fine mesh strainer. Press the squash lightly with a spatula to remove excess juices then transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate puree until ready to use. (Puree can be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container overnight for fresh muffins in the morning, as can the streusel topping.)

Make streusel. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. Work in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Make muffins. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F and line a regular muffin tin with baking cups. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butternut squash puree, oil, and sugars on low until combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and beat for a few seconds.

With mixer on low, incorporate dry ingredients until just combined. Pour batter into muffin cups until each is about 2/3 full and sprinkle generously, completely covering the top of the batter, with streusel. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Butternut Squash Muffins


  1. Dale is the bomb and so are you!

  2. This looks fantastic! I've made cookies with acorn squash before, but they didn't look as pretty as these. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Acorn squash cookies sound right up my alley!

  3. Yummy! I could see these going over swimmingly with sweet potato or even pumpkin.