I grew up under the perpetually sunny skies of California.  I did not have the concept of the air cooling and becoming crisp, of the leaves changing and covering the streets in red and gold, and of the need for spice and warmth, making you want to bake.  This fall in Milwaukee has been unseasonably warm.  My fall vest is still in the closet, but the urge to bake is still strong and has led me to my collection of squash.  There’s pumpkin pie, but that’s too predictable.  So, I decided to experiment with butternut squash!

It only made sense to pair my butternut with the aromatic spices of chai and because I love chocolate, I combined them all to make Butternut Chai Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Butternut Squash Muffins with Chai and Chocolate

Butternut Squash Muffins with Chai and Chocolate

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butternut squash (Cube and bake it at 375 degrees for about half an hour, then mash with a fork – that way you end up with a few chunkies!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of butter (cream with sugar a bit)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of chai concentrate or one cup of strongly brewed chai

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour (I used a half-wheat, half-white blend)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp star anise
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Mix the wet ingredients together.  Then mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients without over-mixing.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake at 375 degrees for 24 minutes.  Bake until a toothpick comes out dry.

Makes 18 small muffins.

Enjoy with a cup of chai!

Photo “muffin” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer marissa anderson and is being posted unaltered (source)

This article has been updated from the original October 29, 2010 publication.