I love butternut squash soup (my sister, Stacy, made a delicious soup yesterday when it was rainy and cold), and I love roasted butternut squash as well. But I think the prize for best use of butternut squash in a baking role goes to these Chai-Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins from my friend Elizabeth Stark’s Brooklyn Supper blog. Add 10 minutes to the indicated prep time for peeling and grating the butternut squash, but otherwise it’s an easy recipe that’s also forgiving of certain substitutions.
I have made them twice in the two weeks since I saw her post: once I subbed all-purpose flour for the rye flour and used maple syrup in place of molasses; the second time I used brown sugar and had to flip the proportions of all-purpose flour to whole wheat pastry flour because I used the last of the farm-ground flour I had from Homestead Farm in Charles County, Maryland. Also I had to eyeball my some of my measurements because I haven’t finished unpacking my kitchen from the renovation a month ago and have no idea where my measuring spoons are! No matter, these came out delicious both times, maybe a little lighter than the original for the lack of rye, but with a nice nutty crunch from the whole wheat flour, tender, fragrant and full of chai spiciness.
After recording my interview with Sheila Kast last week at the WYPR studio in Baltimore, I stopped in at Atwater’s in Belvedere Square. Among the flavors of homemade jam on the shelves was Peach Chai, made with Pennsylvania peaches and chai spices. It was obvious that I’d have to try it with the chai-spiced butternut squash muffins. The muffins are great with just some good butter, or with other jams, but this combination was absolutely perfect!