Round Forty Four — Cheddar Squash Muffins
You may recall we just welcomed a new member to our family — Percy.
He was once a sweet, cute little kitten. He once lounged around all day and left me alone to bake (as you may also recall). In fact, he left me alone most of the time, unless he wanted to cuddle/rub his body against my ankles/meow at me until I fed him. It was nice.
Things have changed.
Here is a day in the life of Stephanie. Ready? Let me tell you how exciting it is — it’s exciting.
“Mmm, I made these amazing Cheddar Squash Muffins for dinner tonight.”
“What’s that? Muffins? Baking? Hmm, now I think is a good time to run around and cause some trouble. Let’s play hide and seek!”
“No, Percy, I don’t think that’s such a good idea. See, I’m taking pictures of these muffins here and, uh…”
“UGH. Where are you Percy?” (Proceed to chase Percy around our 750-square-foot apartment. You’d think this is no big deal, but this cat can find places we didn’t even know existed. Good grief.)
“You’re under the TV stand. How do you even fit under there?”
“Oh, now you’re hiding by your litter box. That’s just gross.”
“I can see you.” “No, you can’t!” “Yes, yes I can.
“Percy, I don’t have time for this. I have muffins to make. And a cake to finish for Elliott’s birthday (yes, those are M&Ms. For a 24-year-old’s birthday cake). Go… do something else.”
“OK. I’ll check on what Elliott is doing. … Can I have some cereal?”
“No, Percy. Go eat your salmon-y smelling cat food. Yum…”
“Ick, no thanks. I’ll just go check on what’s going on outside.”
“Thanks, Percy. Now I can get back to these muffins.”
Debrief: The original recipe calls for oatmeal muffin mix. From a box. Egads. So, I futzed around and made up what I thought would come from a box of muffin mix. I think it turned out well, though next time I might incorporate more salt, or sugar instead of honey, to “kick it up a notch,” if you will. But still, it’s a very tasty savory muffin that goes well with greens and mashed butternut squash.
Cheddar Squash Muffins
Adapted from Glamour Magazine (uh huh.)
1/2 cup water
1 cup mashed, roasted butternut squash*
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and butter or grease a 12-cup muffin tin. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine squash, water and eggs. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt. Add to the large bowl scallions, cheese, oats and honey. Pour in flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fill muffin tin cups about 3/4 full with the batter and bake about 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are a golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool about five minutes on a cooling rack before serving.
*Extra punches: To roast a 2 lb butternut squash — Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a screwdriver or the sharp end of a meat thermometer, poke a hole in the squash. Place whole squash in a casserole baking dish or roasting pan and bake for about one hour, or until you can easily poke a fork in its side without resistance (that sounds gruesome, sorry). Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then, scoop out the soft squash and mash it. If you want to eat the remaining squash leftover from the recipe, mix the mashed squash with 1 tbsp butter and salt to taste.