Spice it Up!

Cold winter days are perfect for baking. Especially when the low winter sun is streaming in the window, warming the kitchen and you have a lot of winter squash in the pantry. A few years ago, after several batches of delicious (in my opinion) winter squash soup, my children declared they had enough, no more squash soup for them…ever. Luckily, I came across a recipe for butternut squash spice cake that I adapted to make these Spice Muffins. The kids (and their friends) love them.

Ingredients include an assortment of spices, including black pepper!

1 small butternut squash (other winter squash will work well, too)
2 cups Harvest Ridge Organics wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking sods
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large local farm fresh eggs
1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract

Baking the squash for this recipe takes about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the exterior of the squash in cool water. Place the whole squash in a glass baking dish and add about 1/2 inch of water. Bake in the oven until squash is easy to pierce with a fork. Remove from the oven and cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out seeds and discard (we put our seeds in the compost). The flesh of the squash should be easy to scoop out into a medium-size bowl. Mash with a fork and set aside.

Turn oven down to 325 degrees. Prepare you muffin tin by greasing with butter or use muffin cups.

Lining the muffin tins. Note: mini muffins will bake in about 10 minutes.


In a small bowl, combine flour, spices, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside. Cream together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add vanilla. Mix well. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the cooked squash. Add remaining flour and stir until combined. Use and old fashioned ice cream scoop or large spoon to measure and place batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not over bake, or the muffins will become dry.

I like to use an old fashioned ice cream scoop to measure out my muffin batter. Each scoop is the perfect amount to fill one regular size muffin cup.

Serve plain or with a dollop of butter – yum!

A basket of winter goodness, made with locally grown whole wheat flour, local winter squash and local, farm fresh eggs.

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