I have bunches of squash these days and I’ve had a hankering since the other day to make these squash muffins. I ended up making a few changes, starting with switching it to a Quick Mix recipe, among other things. You can use any winter squash in this recipe. I used butternut here.
To prepare the puree, cut open and bake squash pieces at 350-degrees, face-down, on a lightly greased baking sheet for about an hour and a half. Scoop out pulp and mash.
Butternut is truly my favorite of all the winter squash. You can get three to four cups of puree out of an average butternut squash and it has a relatively small seed pocket. There’s a lot of squash flesh for its size. I haven’t grown any before (this one came free from the farmers market), but I want to grow my own next year.
If you want to save seeds for future planting, rinse seeds in a bowl of cool water.
Sort out the seeds. I use my fingers to take them out of the rinse water, pulling off any clinging pulp. I pat the seeds dry on a paper towel then spread them out to dry on waxed paper. Let dry thoroughly. You can store the seeds in an envelope in a cool, dark spot till next year. And have all the butternut squash you want. (And don’t you want a lot? I do!)
I saved some cushaw squash seeds the other day, too. I saved way too many seeds, but I’ll share with Georgia.
Here’s how I made my muffins using my homemade baking mix. Try them this way (they’re wonderful!) or see the original recipe here. You can transfer many baking recipes to a Quick Mix recipe. My homemade baking mix includes flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cream of tartar. Just replace the flour, baking powder etc called for in a recipe cup per cup with Quick Mix. If it’s a sweet recipe, like this one, reduce the added sugar slightly because there is some sugar in the baking mix. This recipe called for 1 cup of sugar. I reduced it to 3/4 cup and switched the white sugar to brown sugar. I love brown sugar with winter squash. I (accidentally, providentially) changed the measurements on the spices, added an extra egg, and added raisins and pecans soaked in rum.
How to make Winter Squash Muffins:
1 cup winter squash, cooked and mashed
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups homemade baking mix
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped/crushed pecans
1/4 cup rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin pan or use papers. Place raisins and pecans in a small saucepan with rum and vanilla. Bring to a boil then turn off heat, cover, and let sit while preparing the muffin batter. (If you prefer, you can soak the raisins in plain water or some other concoction of your choice, and you don’t have to soak the nuts at all. Do what you want.)
Mix squash, eggs, oil and corn syrup in a large bowl.
Wait, that’s only two eggs! (I’ll explain in a minute.)
Add two cups baking mix and cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and mace. I accidentally added 1/2 tablespoon each of cinnamon and ginger. The original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon. I have this beautiful new set of red measuring spoons and it includes a 1/2 tablespoon measure. I’ve never had a set of measuring spoons before that had a 1/2 tablespoon. I just picked out the “1/2” and went with it then realized what I’d done.
I decided I liked it that way. There are no mistakes in cooking, only experiments. (By the way, a tablespoon is equal to three teaspoons, so if you don’t have a 1/2 tablespoon measure in your spoons, use 1 1/2 teaspoons.)
Look at all those beautiful spices!
Then I decided the muffin batter wasn’t quite right. It was too thick.
Way too thick, even for muffin batter. What should I do? I could add milk. Or rum! (Ha.) Based on my instinct for what was already in the mixture, I didn’t want to weaken the batter in the process of adding moisture; I wanted to add moisture and substance at the same time. So I added another egg.
I decided I liked it that way.
Meanwhile, the raisins and pecans had soaked up every bit of the rum and vanilla so no flavor lost there!
In go the raisins and pecans.
Spoon batter into muffin cups. I filled the cups almost to the top.
Bake at 350-degrees for 25-30 minutes, till lightly browned on top. Turn out onto a wire rack. Melt a little bit of butter and drizzle on top of the baked muffins. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
These are such moist muffins, you can eat them without adding anything. Or add some butter if you want. Better yet, cut one open and pour some maple syrup on top. You’ll think you died and went to heaven.
These are my new favorite muffins. At least until the next muffins. I love muffins!
*Makes 16 regular-sized muffins.