Saturday, May 24, 2008

Butternut Squash Scones

Continuing my food-centric weekend, I decided to bake some scones. Now let it be said, I don't bake very often. I am not the most patient cook and the exact measurements sometimes make me nervous. Once in a while though, I like to test my skills. This past winter I fell in love with butternut squash. It is a ginormous pain in the arse to prepare, but once it is done, it is absolutely delicious. Then, about a month ago I saw this pre-peeled and cubed squash at Trader Joes and the it was at a reasonable price. I bought it, stuck it in the freezer and then kind of forgot about it. My mom was always baking scones when I was younger and has always said they are one of the easiest things to make. After today, I couldn't agree with her more. I know it sounds weird to put squash in a scone, but try it. The squash is sweet and I used cinnamon which enhanced the flavor. The consistency of these is so soft and moist with warm, earthy tones it was hard for me to only eat one. I finished them off by sprinkling them with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Like my hero Ina always says, make sure your ingredients are as cold as possibly for the flakiest scones.

Butternut Squash Scones
(adapted from Food Network)

8 oz butternut squash, peeled and cubed
8 oz self rising flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 oz sugar
2 to 3 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Place the squash in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and let dry over heat. It's important to make sure there is no water left in the squash. Mash squash with a potato masher and drain again in a towel, if necessary.

Sift flower, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Stir in the sugar and then the mashed squash. Stir in milk, 1 tbsp at a time until you have a soft dough. With a wooden spoon, combine the dough thoroughly and gently.

Turn the dough onto a well floured board and press down lightly until the dough is about 1 inch thick. Use a cutter or a glass to cut the scones and places them onto a lightly greased baking tray. Flouring the glass each time is very helpful.

Using a sifter, dust each scone with flour. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. Lightly dust powdered sugar and cinnamon over warm scones if desired.

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