Continuing the tradition of long-distance birthday treats, these muffins were inspired by my friend’s fearlessly adventurous spice combinations and love of nutritious indulgences and hot peppers. Sweet and brightly spiced with a bit of a kick to them.
The recipe needs some tweaking, as it caved in slightly in the last few minutes of baking. I topped six of the muffins with a cashew half and left the rest bare, since I thought the weight might be an issue, but ultimately they all fell. The batter was rather on the thick side. I had to make some last minute adjustments to the recipe that I had originally devised, since I was short half a cup of squash pureé, so I suspect that threw things off some. I reduced the flour measure half a cup, to 2 cups, but probably should have cut it back further, and perhaps added a bit more milk, as suggested below. But looks aren’t everything… pretty darn tasty, if I say so myself!
Curried Maple Squash Muffins
(Makes 1 dozen)
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1 cup winter squash (I used butternut), roasted until can be scooped out as tender puree
2 eggs (or flax eggs)
1/4 cup maple syrup (honey or molasses would probably also be great)
2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamon (2-3 pods)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and curry powder, or to taste
A few generous sprinkles cayenne, or to taste (optional)
1 – 1 1/2 cups milk of your choice
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 375ºF (perhaps by roasting squash at this temperature, which worked well). Mix together butter, squash, eggs, syrup, and seasonings. In a small bowl, combine flour and leavening, then stir into squash mixture. Spoon evenly into muffin tins, top with a cashew half or roasted pumpkin seed if desired, and bake 18-25 minutes, until set. Let cool enough to remove from pan and finish cooling on rack. Yum!