November 17, 2013

Butternut Squash Cupcakes- Squashin' Winter #SundaySupper

With Browned Butter Frosting

 You know what I haven't been making enough of? Cupcakes. I mean, cupcakes are what got me into baking in the first place. They're my first foodie love. When I first started this blog, I figured it would be all cupcakes all the time. But that has not been true. There has been a surprising dearth of cupcake recipes. The occasional cupcake, some of the time.

Well no more! I'm traveling back to my baking roots with this week's #SundaySupper, hosted by Heather of girlichef. The theme this week is winter squash. So of course I made cupcakes.

Don't question it. Just smile and nod.
I actually love butternut squash. Which is weird for me, because while I have a giant sweet tooth, I very much dislike sweet with my savory. I don't like pumpkin. I don't like sweet potatoes. I don't like cooked carrots. But I love butternut squash.

The squash has a nice, subtly sweet flavor that actually lends itself well to these spiced cupcakes. It's not immediately noticeable like with sweet potato or pumpkin, but it's definitely there as a sort of flavor undertone, adding a layer of complexity. Plus the squash keeps the cupcakes nice and moist (if a little on the dense side).
And since butternut squash and browned butter are basically best friends, I frosted these with the maple browned butter frosting from my maple cornmeal cupcakes, I just reduced the maple extract and added a pinch of salt (I've been on a kick lately where I add a little salt to my frostings. It just helps develop the flavor and cuts the sweetness a little.)

If you've never had browned butter frosting, then you have been deprived and that should be rectified immediately. Like right now. At this very moment. March on over to your stove and start cooking that butter. This blog will still be here when you're done; but it's more important that you don't go another minute without mixing browned butter and powdered sugar and then spooning it straight into your mouth.

Butternut Squash Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes

2 cups flour
2½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups cooked and mashed butternut squash
¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a separate bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Fill about ⅔ of the way (about 2 tbsp.) with batter. Bake 15-20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes our clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Recipe by Kim

Browned Butter Frosting

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
 cup whipping cream
¼ tsp. maple flavoring (or vanilla)
Pinch salt

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Continue to heat, whisking constantly, until the butter turns a light, golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Add the sugar, salt, and maple flavoring to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together on the lowest speed. Slowly stream in the browned butter and continue to mix until the mixture looks like small peas. Add in the whipping cream, gradually increase the mixer speed to high, and whip until fluffy.

Recipe by Kim
Get ready to get your squash on:

Breakfasts and Breads
Appetizers, Starters, and Condiments
Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Wine Pairing Recommendations for Squashin' Winter #SundaySupper from Enofylz Wine Blog

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.