{Recipe: Kabocha Squash Spice Muffins with Currants and Candied Ginger}

Taco Tuesdays date night at Tubby Dog

Lengua tacos in warm corn tortilla and pork and chicken tostadas piled high with refried beans, pico de gallo, crumbled feta and cilantro. I was never really a fan of Mexican food till I tried these.

I’m hooked..

Cheers to a long and busy work week with a tall and spicy caesar and a glass of chilled Prosecco for me at our go-to pizza spot, Without Papers on Friday night.

Enjoyed with a “Hawaiian 5-0″ pizza” – Canadian back bacon, pineapple, jalapenos, aged cheddar, mozzarella, tomato sauce.

Post lunch treat: a pumpkin spice muffin from Brulee Patisserie. Ah-mazing. Fluffy, moist and all the warm and comforting aromas of fall in every biteful.

Which inspired me to make my own version at home this past weekend..

Adding my own twist with the addition of dried currants and chopped up bits of sweet and spicy candied ginger.

I subbed the pumpkin for an oven roasted kabocha squash that came in my SPUD organic delivery bin and they turned out wonderfully. If you’re in a pinch, you could also used canned pumpkin (not pie filling), but I think they’re much tastier if you roast and puree them yourself.

I brushed the tops with melted butter, then rolled them in a mixture of cane sugar and a pumpkin pie spice blend from the Silk Road Spice Merchant (I am OBSESSED with this store).

The currants and ginger are suspended evenly through each muffin. You could sub in pecans or walnuts too if you please.  The result is a fluffy and tender cake that is not overly sweet. The recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of butter instead of the typical full cup which means they won’t weigh you down or make you lethargic after you eat one.

Perfect as an afternoon treat with a cup of warm chai tea or as a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning. Bon appetit!

Kabocha Squash Spice Muffins with Currants and Candied Ginger (yielded about 18 muffins)

Adapted from a recipe by Ellie Krieger

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tsp of pumpkin spice mix (or a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (you could also use canola oil)
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 cup kabocha squash puree (can sub in pumpkin puree)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used a 1/4 cup of buttermilk powder and 3/4 cup of water)
  • 1/3 cup currants (rehydrated in warm water for 10 min)
  • 1/4 cup chopped up candied ginger (rehydrated in warm water for 10 min)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, melted to brush the muffin tops
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin spice and 1/4 cup cane sugar mix

Roasting Squash: Preheat the oven to 375F. Chop a kabocha squash in half and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about an hour till soft. Cool and scrape the interior and crush with a potato masher. Measure out 1 cup and set aside.

Increase oven temp to 400 degrees F. Line a regular sized muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice mix.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the squash puree and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the currants and candied ginger. Mix until just combined and there are no floury bits.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan filling them 3/4 full. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

 Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter then roll the tops in the pumpkin spice sugar mixture. 

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