Saturday, October 6, 2012

Egg-Free Winter Squash Muffins

Goodbye tomatoes, hello winter squash.
Thanks once again to Angelic Organics, we have red kuri squash and pumpkin soup tucked away in the freezer, spaghetti squash salad with feta cheese and oregano vinaigrette in the fridge, and for that sweet little delicata? How about some squash muffins?
As usual, my muffins are egg-free to accommodate Roo's allergies. I used delicata squash because that's what I had left over after the soups were made, but most winter squash will work here...butternut, red kuri, hubbard, kabocha, pumpkin, pretty much anything but spaghetti squash. 

Egg-Free Winter Squash Muffins
adapted from The Divvies Bakery Cookbook

1 small winter squash (I used delicata, but butternut, red kuri, kabocha, or pumpkin will also work) 
1 & 1/2 tsp salt, divided
3 & 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup pear puree (baby food pears work well, or you can substitute applesauce)
1 cup canola oil, plus 1 tsp for rubbing squash
1/3 cup water
3 cups sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Rub cut sides with 1 tsp canola oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of the salt. Place squash cut side up on a baking sheet and roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Allow squash to cool to room temperature. Scoop out flesh and reserve. Discard skins.
2. Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, remaining 1 tsp salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the cooked squash with an electric mixer until pureed and smooth. Add the pear puree, 1 cup canola oil, water, and sugar. Continue to mix until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed until well-combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
5. Scoop batter into the muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from tins and allow to cool completely.

Makes 24 muffins.

These are fantastic spread with a little cream cheese, or if you're feeling truly decadent, you could whip up some lemon cream cheese icing to drizzle on top.
I wasn't sure how the idea of squash muffins would go over with my roasted squash-loathing children so I did what any good parent would do. I kept my mouth shut. Instead I let the cinnamon-y fresh baked bread aroma do the talking until the inevitable happened.

Looly: "Can I have a muffin?"

followed shortly by...

Bean: "Me too! Why does she always get to have muffins and we don't!"

Bean will make a masterful dissident one day.
45 seconds later two crumb-faced girls were back for more, so it was time for the cold hard truth. There's squash in there!

I then proceeded to ask Looly if she liked the muffin so many times she finally locked her eyes on mine with the concern of a child whose parent has suddenly lost their mind and very calmly touched my hand and promised, "Yes, mom. I liked it. I really really liked it. It was yummy. I thought it was a banana muffin."


On the flip side, Roo, the perpetual bread-avoider declined to try a bite but promised me that if I make pumpkin muffins next time, he's game.

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