Airy spiced muffins might be one of the best things about fall. And right now, just before everything we consume is set to follow a Thanksgiving or Christmas theme, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy the flavors of plain old fall. Actually, plain old might be going a littler far, since these particular fall muffins are anything but plain. They have a light, moist crumb, a hint of spicy ginger, and just a touch of je nais se quoi from the butternut squash.
And speaking of squash, I know many of us happily use canned pumpkin in our baked goods, but if you haven’t tried the pure flavor of freshly baked squash or pumpkin, you’re in for a treat. And why squash? Chances are, you can easily track down a butternut at your local grocery store, whereas sugar pie pumpkins can be much harder to find. Plus squash has a lightness to it that I find incredibly endearing.
So whether you have squash or pumpkin, fresh or canned, head below for a spiced squash muffin recipe that may just make your fall.
Streusel-Topped Spiced Squash Muffins¨ (adapted from Brooklyn Supper)
makes 12 – 14 muffins
for the puree
1 butternut squash, peeled, trimmed, and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut squash into 1 inch cubes. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch sea salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked through and soft.
Mash the squash, or for a smoother texture, puree.
for the streusel topping
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
pinch sea salt
In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, butter, and sea salt. Use the tips of your fingers to rub together until well blended with a crumbly texture. Set in the refrigerator while you prepare the batter.
for the batter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 room temperature eggs
1 cup butternut squash puree
1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffins cups with paper liners and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and spices.
In a large bowl, with beaters on low, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue mixing for two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and then the squash. With mixer still on low, fold in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk, and then the remaining flour mixture.
Spoon into muffin tin, filling to two-thirds full. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with 1 – 2 tablespoons streusel. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
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