Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle

by Julia Robarts on February 26, 2017

in Breads/Quick Breads, Muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle - Juggling with JuliaThings I would NEVER say:

Sure, you can finish my coffee. (get. away. from. my. coffee.)
I’m over the whole Harry Potter thing. (so not over it)
I feel like dressing up today. (yeah, right. where’s my sweatshirt?)

and, for sure, I’d never, ever say

How about some squash for breakfast? (a slight to humanity, that’s what that is)

But offer you a muffin crammed with that squash? That’s totally different. And that’s what I’m offering you today in these Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle. They’re spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and dressed up with a super-simple maple drizzle. Over the weekend we plowed through two batches. Though my sassy 17-year-old joked that I ‘nearly ruined’ them with the squash, he devoured them with gusto.

Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle - Juggling with Julia

Recipe Notes for Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle

→ This recipe requires 1 cup of roasted butternut squash. However, if you don’t already have it on hand, it’s so easy to roast squash – see directions here.

→ Roasted butternut squash will keep  in the freezer for up to a year! Freeze the cooked squash in 1 cup portions, then it’ll be ready to go for your favorite recipes that call for roasted butternut squash (like these butternut squash muffins, for instance; and don’t forget about these ridiculously delicious Oatmeal Butternut Pancakes!)

→ These deliciously moist muffins have a lovely tender crumb. You can thank the squash and brown sugar for that. Be sure to use a light hand in measuring the flour, as well. Never pack it in! Too much flour will weigh these down.

→ The batter makes 11 muffins – stretching it to 12 muffins to satisfy my OCD even number issues will just make them too small.
Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle - juggling with julia

Butternut Squash Muffins with Maple Drizzle
Makes 11 muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes     Bake time: 17-20 minutes

Butternut Squash Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup roasted butternut squash
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a standard muffin pan with spray oil.

Next, in a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.

Then, in a medium bowl, add the squash, milk, oil, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Add the flour mixture and stir with large spoon just until all dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overstir.

Finally, fill each well of the muffin pan 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 17-2o minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are no longer sticky and spring back slightly when touched. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing, then place on cooling rack to cool completely (this step important if you don’t want your maple drizzle to simply soak into the muffins).

Maple Drizzle:

1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Take the cooling rack of muffins and place it on top of a cookie sheet (to catch the drips of maple drizzle).

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and maple syrup until smooth. Transfer to a small plastic bag with a zip closure. (Tip: it is helpful to place the open bag inside a small cup or glass so you have two hands free to scrape all the maple drizzle into the bag). Zip the bag shut and snip off a very small piece of one of the corners.

Using the snipped corner as your spout, slowly guide the maple drizzle over the tops of the muffins. The drizzle will eventually harden after several minutes.

Store the muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

 

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Smashed Chipotle Chicken Tacos

by Julia Robarts on February 21, 2017

in Main Meals, Poultry, The Recipe Redux

It’s Taco Tuesday! Let’s nosh on some Smashed Chipotle Chicken Tacos while we laugh about my uber-professional food photography studio. It comes fully equipped with its own ‘man in slippers’ and the ever-fashionable faux stool made to look like a broken dining room chair. The ‘casual clutter’ option is extra, but regrettably does not include a maid.
smashed chipotle chicken tacos - juggling with juliaWhy are they smashed tacos? Simpy put, I prefer nachos 🙂 But, the Recipe Redux theme is Taco Tuesdays, and so I oblige, sort of. Not to fear, though. Even if you like your tacos whole and hand-held, or in veggie-rich salad form, this recipe for Chipotle Chicken Tacos will get you there. It’s the kickiest, most flavorful chicken ever. And I mean, like, ever.

What is a chipotle pepper, anyway?

A chipotle pepper is a smoke-dried jalapeno pepper. Often they are packed in adobo sauce, which is a spicy tomato sauce with paprika and other spices. They are used frequently in Tex-Mex and Southwestern recipes. This recipe uses just the adobo sauce from a small can of chipotle peppers. (save the peppers to chop and put in your chili this weekend!)

Smashed Chipotle Chicken Tacos – recipe notes:

  • The only real cooking involves marinating and cooking the chicken. Otherwise, this is all prep and assembly.
  • Save the canned chilis you took from the adobo sauce by chopping them and freezing in small amounts (an ice cube tray works great). Add a cube of these spicy babies to your next chili or Southwestern themed soup for a nice kick!
  • Marinate the chicken for as little as 2 hours. Much of the sauce stays with the chicken, so the flavor is significant.
  • I grilled the chicken using the George Foreman grill, for a total of 6 minutes. Adjust time as needed for your indoor or outdoor grill. You can also bake in oven, in a pan covered with foil, at 350 for about 25 minutes.
  • Prep all but the avocado as far in advance as you like.  Just chop the avocado while the chicken is cooking; squeeze with lime juice to keep it from browning.

Smashed Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Serves 6

Prep time (marinade): 5 minutes       Marinade time: 2-24 hours     Cook time: 5-10 minutes (depends on method)

Chipotle Chicken:
7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (sauce only)
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (halve this to decrease the heat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each – ground cumin, dried oregano, onion powder
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded to 1/2 inch thickness

Add-ons:
Your favorite tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Avocado
Diced red onion
Diced tomato
Lime wedges
Plain yogurt

Preparing the marinade:
Mix together the adobo sauce, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, onion powder, minced garlic, and oil. Add marinade and chicken to a sealable plastic bag and shake well to fully coat chicken. Place bag in small bowl, and set in refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours or more.

Grilling the chicken:
Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill and prepare with spray oil. Remove the chicken from the bag, shaking off excess marinade. Grill chicken 3-4 minutes per side, or until no longer pink inside. Slice chicken on the diagonal, or shred if desired. Set aside.

Assemble your ‘smashed’ tacos:
Layer tortilla chips and shredded cheese on a microwavable plate until cheese melts (20-30 seconds). Top with chicken, tomatoes, onion, and avocado. Finish with a dollop of yogurt and a squeeze of lime juice.

Smashed Chipotle Chicken Tacos for the win!

This post is inspired by The Recipe Redux.

Be sure to check out the many varied taco ideas from my talented foodie cohorts below!

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