11/10/10

Butternut Squash...

...or, Cucurbita Moschata, as most kids refer to it...




"Is that my favorite pumpkin bread I smell?" he asked, as he foxtrotted into the kitchen.

"Uh-huh."  I craftily replied, as the fires of Hell consumed me.

You see, in an attempt to convince the-one-I-hold-dear to admit fresh Butternut squash was  better than canned pumpkin,  I baked his favorite "pumpkin" bread...with some minor changes.

In deference to my die-hard Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, I finally confessed to substituting Butternut squash, while ranting  about its many virtues.
Well, it didn't really take that much convincing. And after that first bite,  he tuned me out, his eyes gently rolled back into his head, and I declared victory.

In any case, I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest serving the warm bread with Cinnamon Honey Butter from Fly Through our Window.
And please, do not eat this while standing, or your knees may buckle. It is that good.


Some were baked in canning jars, to give away as gifts. Yeah.


Others were baked into loaves, paired with that spicy butter I told you about.



Butternut Squash Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping
Yield: 2 loaves or 36 muffins.

Bread:

1½ cups pecan pieces
¾ cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups butternut squash purée
½ cup water
3 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
1½ teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt

Topping:

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup AP flour
½ cup toasted pecan pieces (see above)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Arrange pecans on a baking sheet, toast them for 7 to 9 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of pecans for the topping.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
Grease two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans, or 36 standard-size muffin cups. Whisk the oil and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs, butternut squash purée, and water and whisk until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture, adding 1 cup pecan pieces last. Divide the batter between two loaf pans.

To make the topping:

With your hands, work the sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon and the reserved ½ cup pecans in a bowl until combined. Sprinkle topping over the loaves.
Bake loaves for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Bake muffins for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Adapted from The Pastry Queen, by Rebecca Rather.


Cinnamon Honey Butter

2 sticks (8 ounces) softened butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup honey*
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Using the whisk attachment in your mixer, blend all ingredients until  smooth and has an even consistency. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the mixer with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.

*I only used 1/2 cup honey.



While looking for ways to use up this winter squash, I came across another dessert I'd like to share with you. Dulce de Zapallo, or, Candied Butternut Squash in Spiced Syrup from Laylita.
This dark, rich, luxed out dessert with a spicy syrup  is  somewhat similar in taste to its  American cousin, the pumpkin pie. But with fewer side effects inflicted by the traditional   pie crust.

Check out Laylita's blog for recipe and tempting photos.



This was served with  Butternut Seed Brittle,  and queso fresco.

P.S. Laylita chose Piloncillo in this dessert. And so did I. 
Piloncillo is a wonderful, caramel-y, unrefined sugar,  more flavorful than brown sugar. It comes in blocks, and cone shapes, and can be found in Mexican and Latin American markets, or, ordered online.



I dare say candied Butternut squash is better than a  backstage pass to Deff Leppard. 

Regardless, one of these days,  Joe Elliott, will show up at my door, with a restraining order flowers in his hand. Oh, rapture!

24 comments:

  1. Yes, homemade fresh pumpkin puree is far better than the canned puree! That bread looks and sounds soooo good! Mmmhhh, candied pumpkin, that is something irresistible...

    Cheers,

    Rosa xoxo

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  2. Sol, I love waking up to one of your luscious posts. It is just 5:30 AM and I am wishing I had a butternut squash on hand. Or better yet one of your little canning jar cakes with my morning coffee.

    Your pictures really should be gracing the covers the best Food Magazines.

    Ann

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  3. I agree with Ann - definitely cover looks!

    Everything looks delicious. I think I could envelop myself in that cinnamon honey butter... oh my. Thinking of all the uses for that... hmmmm - and some of them are actually culinary...


    *sigh*

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  4. I am here to chime in ..LOVELY shots.. Just perfect you know.

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  5. Rosa, I think I'm hooked on the candied stuff.

    Ann, 5:30 is when I went to bed. And then, got up at 6:30 for Thumper. I can't tell you what a 1 hour nap does for me. I really can't. Things are a little blurry for me right now.

    Lori, you're naughty. Sending you off to your room would be futile.

    Monique, I like it when you chime in.

    Thank you guys very kindly! Another cup of coffee, and I hope to catch up with all of you, very shortly.

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  6. I so happy you've helped me find purpose for some of the half bushel of butternut squash I bought at the farmers' market last month! I can't wait to try this bread recipe even though I still have a loaf of banana pumpkin bread still in the freezer. The cinnamon honey butter sounds like a perfect match.

    Gorgeous photos!!!

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  7. Ooo, the way you describe the butternut squash...makes me want to run out and buy myself a butternut squash and start baking! Too bad its 10 pm and no good market is open right now.

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  8. I have so much catching up to do here... After the April post:). A bread that will buckle your knees- how can I not be sold?!! I wish my photos are as consistently beautiful as yours!

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  9. Oh man, heavenly bread! and that butter. You got me craving, and all I could do is a pop-n-fresh can of something! That is mean to tempt me this early in the morning!

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  10. Thank you guys for keeping me company!

    Susan, I know a farmer down the road that supplies me with all types of summer and fall goodies. Sometimes I bring home more than I need. And this is why I have a freezer full of butternut squash purée. I'll have to get more creative. If you come up with something, let me know.

    Indie, I hope you're headed to the market this a.m. :)

    Shirley, the bread and spiced butter really are a match made in heaven.

    Dear Carol, I'll be free the next few days—when would be a good time to tempt you? ;-Þ

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  11. The bread looked great, especially the gift ones in the canning jars, but the candied squash and brittle!!! I have to make both!

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  12. you certainly did justice to butternut squash, my variety pumpkin variety. looks wicked good paired with the cinnamon honey :)

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  13. These photos make me speechless! Wonderful and that dessert is just gorgeous!

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  14. That is fit for the holiday table definitely; fit for the kings and queens too :)

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  15. Oh my, sweet one, I wish I lived near or at least a little mouse to nibble on all your delightful goodies, true memories in the baking. And can we talk about your stellar photography!

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  16. That looks amazing! I love how moist squash makes cakes, even low fat ones! :D And a streusel topping! Haha ok I'm looking up a pic of Joe Elliott now :P

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  17. I love baked good made with pumpkin! Such beautiful and lovely loaf..

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  18. Maggie, the candied squash is delish. The brittle is best if the seeds are roasted first though.

    NC, I've considered using the cinnamon honey as a facial mask. Seriously.

    Chriesi, I could say the same about your photos, and I do :)

    Tiger, prince Thumper agrees!

    My dear Joey, I wish we lived closer too. And the mouse idea is sweet, but I just don't trust my cat. It'd be complete and utter meowham.

    Lorraine, Joe Elliott is a hot mess these days, and yet, my toes still curl when I think of him.

    Anh, I've never met a pumpkin dessert I didn't like, either!

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  19. Hi, Sol. I just love the idea of butternut squash in that bread! But only you could add a tantalizing topping AND the honey butter. What more could one ask for in the morning (or at tea or for dessert or???).

    Thanks,

    Dan

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  20. Hellooo!
    First timer here - had half a butternut squash just begging to be made use of and I thought I will give this one a try. They are baking in the oven as I type! Will post here re the success (or lack thereof!) in an hour.
    My main worries:
    1. The batter got a bit liquidy after I sloshed in half a cup of water. *gulp*
    2. The timings for muffins - play it by ear?
    3. Temperature - roasting pecan temp?
    As you can very well see, a natural I am not!

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  21. Anonymous22/11/10

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  22. Yum, This bread looks amazing! Great photos too, as usual!

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  23. G'morning lovely Dan!

    Deej, the amount of water in the recipe is correct. The original recipe called for twice that amount. I'm probably too late to help, sorry, but I'll add the amount of baking time for the muffins next. Thank you for the heads up!

    Hi, Susan!

    Thank you all, very kindly!

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  24. Anonymous5/12/10

    Looks awesome!

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