Moist, spicy, and sweet enough, these muffins are a great way to use up that squash that seems so plentiful this time of year. Whole-wheat pastry flour makes for a lighter crumb, but feel free to use a flavorful whole-wheat flour like Sprouted Spring from Judy Cornell at Conservation Grains.
MAKES 12 MUFFINS
2 large eggs
½ cup dark brown sugar (India Tree dark muscovado) or Sucanat
⅓ cup blackstrap molasses
1 cup roasted, puréed winter squash (Butternut or Kabocha, see Notes)
½ cup buttermilk (or whole milk plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar)
¼ cup high-oleic safflower oil or other light cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Stir together eggs, sugar, and molasses then mix in the squash purée, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, spices, and salt then stir into the wet ingredients. Portion batter into lined muffin cups and bake 18–20 minutes, until muffins have risen and stabilized in the center. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To roast the squash, cut in half, scrape out the seeds, place cut side down in a glass baking dish or sheet pan, and roast at 400°F for 45 minutes or until you can pierce the squash easily with a fork. Let cool and scrape it from the skin and store refrigerated for later use.
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s “Winter Squash, Five Ways,” in The New York Times.