12 Most Surefire Recipes to Turn a Squash Hater into a Squash Lover
(re-posted from an article I wrote for 12 Most, 2011)
Dear Butternut Squash, have I told you lately how much I love you? I know. I understand. Every autumn people turn up their noses and reject you. They always lump you in with all of those other “too squashy” squashes. Why won’t they give you a chance? You’re so smooth and versatile. You are always there for me, breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why can’t people see that? If they could just believe in you, like I do, you would be so much more appreciated. It’s time for a change, and that change starts now. Love, Me.
1. Butternut roll
As we speak, this jellyroll style log of goodness is sitting in my refrigerator. Gone are the days of rubbery pumpkin cheese rolls, only to be replaced by the tenderness of butternut cake. Also, take this recipe up a notch by adding crushed pineapple to the filling. Don’t be put off by the rolling process. It’s simple. The actual difficulty of this dessert lies in trying to keep from shaving off thin slices every time the fridge door is opened.
2. Butternut squash dinner rolls
Can you imagine your family’s faces when you bring these hot, steamy rolls to the table? With their soft texture and yellow tint, these dinner rolls are just asking to be slathered in butter and quickly gobbled up. Even your squash hating children will be asking for seconds. Score! Parents: 1. Children: 0.
3. Butternut pie
Who is sick of the same old, tired pumpkin pie? Raise your hand please. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy pumpkin desserts. However, the “grainy” texture is less than to be desired by myself. By substituting the pumpkin for smooth, butternut squash, you’ll be sure to have a pie that surprises everyone with your “secret ingredient.” Enjoy wringing your hands in delight.
4. Stuffed squash
I personally love recipes that require little work but have high impression value. For instance, these baby stuffed butternuts look divine on a dinner plate even though they take no time at all to assemble. I once served this dish at a ladies Christmas brunch. If only you could have heard the “oh’s” and “ah’s.” Seriously, who doesn’t love ham and apple stuffing baked in an edible shell? Sounds perfect to me!
5. Butternut layer cake
Layer cakes are simply beautiful. Is it just me or does it seem like no one makes them anymore? Sheet cakes are apparently the new layer cake. As a baker, I take this change with great sadness. Give me a luscious layer cake any day and I’ll show you a very happy mouth. A cake made with sweet butternut would be even more hard to resist. Come on over, I’ll bake one now.
6. Butternut squash donuts
Yes, I mentioned donuts. No explanation necessary.
7. Winter squash squares
I would be willing to bet this recipe could be renamed “Texas sheet cake gone Squash.” Being a thin, dense cake, I could see these sturdy goodies showing up in every lunch box from here to Nevada. If you don’t happen to like the cake, no worries. Anything topped with cream cheese frosting is a total win.
8. Buttercup squash coffee cake
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You see this coffee cake recipe? It’s one of my “special recipes.” You know the ones. Recipes written on well-worn, batter splattered note cards; never shared with anyone. I obviously have altered a few ingredients to make it “mine.” For instance, use chunky applesauce instead of the basic unsweetened. Unfortunately, I can’t share any more secrets. I’d have to hunt you down and, well, ya know. Trust me when I say, “It’s THAT good.”
9. Special squash casserole
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is upon us. If you are even considering bringing that awful sweet potato casserole topped with burnt marshmallows, then I beg of you, let me help. I’m sorry, but that dish is a disgrace to sweet potatoes. This year, try a butternut casserole. You will still get the same sweet versus savory taste without the generic look of canned yams. My husband’s grandmother has been making this dish every year since dirt was discovered and it’s still a family favorite.
10. Macaroni and Cheese with butternut squash
This ain’t your mama’s mac and cheese, that’s for sure (unless your mother is Martha Stewart.) Filled with three types of cheeses, this pasta dish is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Adding the butternut contributes a rich flavor that can’t quite be detected. Once again, score! Parents: 2. Children: 0.
11. Butternut squash muffins with a frosty top
How could anyone, in a right mind, turn down a muffin with the words “frosty top” in the recipe? Say it with me, “Frosty top.” Doesn’t that alone bring a smile to your face? Similar to carrot cake, this spiced muffin would make a great accompaniment to your favorite cup of hot joe on any winter morning. Surely the day will be good by starting with strong coffee and a “frosty top.”
12. Deerhurst butternut squash creme brulee
I have personally never made a creme brulee, but it’s definitely on my baking bucket list. I can already imagine topping off my holiday dinner with this creamy, classic French custard. However, acquiring a kitchen blowtorch probably isn’t on my to-do list anytime soon and I highly doubt flicking my bic is a very good alternative. So, I will leave this one up to you, my creative friends. Let me know how it turns out.
Dear Butternut Squash, See? I knew everyone would adore you. Once people looked past your outward appearance and saw your inner beauty, they could accept the fact that you are simply fabulous. Keep on being you. See you next Fall! Love, Me.