Squash Muffins with Garam Masala

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I am trying really really hard to not talk about the weather but I think it’s nearly impossible. By this time of year I’m already direct sowing kale and collard seeds in the ground. This year? Still a foot of hard icy snow covering the poor garden. Instead of crabbing about this long winter, I am trying to be thankful for the time to work on a story about a trip I took to Mexico back in 1996. At least I am thinking about beaches and warmth, while I look up my itinerary and destinations, immersing myself in maps and photos. I stopped in Creel, Mazatlan, Morelia, Puerto Angel, Puerto Escondido, and Oaxaca, where I studied Spanish (or tried to). Not only did I dig out my own photos, but I dipped back in to Mexico with a visit to Glutton For Life, where Laura shared her beautiful and recent trip to Oaxaca.

So anyway, in between dreaming about Mexico and impatiently waiting for the garden to be mine once again, I am baking. The other day I made these muffins with the last of the squash puree in the freezer. They are so, so delicious and taste a bit like a more exotic pumpkin pie to me, in texture too, somewhat. It’s like a sweet squash timbale, so delicate and custardy. However, they were so delicate that it wasn’t until the muffins truly cooled for a day that they came out of the muffin liners without breaking up entirely. It is pretty much a must to use liners in this case. I have no more pureed squash to test with, so if you try it out will you let me know how it comes out? I am writing down the recipe exactly the way I made it, but I do wonder if it can be made a little sturdier.

Squash Muffins with Garam Masala

makes one dozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have that muffin tin filled with liners!

1.5 cups of almond meal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon of garam masala spice blend

Blend all these dry ingredients.

Then beat up in a  separate bowl:

1/4 cup (liquid) coconut oil

1/2 cup sugar (these were a bit sweet, so I think it’s fine to dial down the sugar if you want, or to experiment with sweeteners)

Add to this liquid mixture:

2 beaten eggs

1 cup of squash puree

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

When the liquids are all mixed, add them to the dry ingredients rather quickly. Spoon the mixture into your cupcake liners. I found that a healthy sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar and a few chopped walnuts were a really welcome topper. Bake these for thirty minutes at 350 degrees. After they have cooled for ten minutes, set them on a wire rack to cool completely. It’s really hard to wait for them, and you will likely open one, and it will crumble as you eat it over the sink. Or maybe that’s just me. Let them sit for days, and they will only get better.

p.s. Please forgive the slightly out of focus shot–I took only a few pictures. I figured the recipe was worth it to go ahead with!

p.p.s. These are similar to the muffins I wrote about on What Julia Ate. If you haven’t tried them, you should!

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