As soon as she found out that I was baking muffins, she ran and got her step stool and asked to help. She whisked the dry ingredients as gently as she could before spilling a bunch on my countertop. Then she mixed the wet ingredients together (not before saying "eeew" when I told her I added squash) and was able to keep everything contained in the bowl. I helped her mix everything together briefly before she took over and mixed. She said that I didn't add enough dried cranberries so I opened up another package and added some more in. She mixed until she thought everything was done and asked to help scoop the batter into the muffin pan.
Addie and I had a good old time baking this batch of muffins. After the muffins had cooled slightly, we dug in and sampled one. As expected, my little girl gobbled up her muffin and was so proud of what she had made. Obviously, the squash didn't bother her at all, and she promptly asked to bring some to school for her teachers. I packed up a few of these cranberry muffins and some of the apple ones and she joyfully brought them to her teachers.
Of the two acorn squash muffins I made, I actually like this one better. The spices were more prominent and tasted like fall. These were much denser and were reminiscent of a quick bread, but in muffin form. The cranberries packed a punch of sweetness and added a great textural contrast as well. Maybe we shouldn't have given some of these away, because these muffins have been a huge hit at our house.
Cranberry acorn squash muffins
- 2 and 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup acorn squash, pureed*
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease a standard muffin tin and set aside (I used a silicone muffin pan and did not grease it).
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the acorn squash, egg, applesauce and milk.
Transfer the acorn squash mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or rubber/silicone spatula, gently fold the ingredients together. Do not over mix. When the flour has almost been fully incorporated, add the dried cranberries. Fold until everything is just mixed together.
Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake in your preheated oven for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (I think mine baked for much longer... closer to 25 minutes).
Allow the muffins to cool completely before serving. They should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.
Yield: About 15 muffins
Source: Slightly adapted from Recipetips.com