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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mystery Squash Squares

For my bridal shower my fabulous bridesmaids included blank recipe cards in the invitations to have everyone that attended provide their favorite recipe.  This was a wonderful idea for several reasons, specifically because I had a great start to our newlywed recipe collection, and I can now make these recipes with some of the most important people in my life in mind.  The recipe that my mom provided was actually from one of her closest friends, Barb, a recipe that my mom used to make when I was younger.  In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would try my hand at Barb's Pumpkin Squares. 

As with most things, this recipe was a little more complicated in Argentina because I have yet to find canned pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin for that matter...), thus, I bring you Mystery Squares.  I have never used fresh pumpkin for baking so I'll start at the beginning, in case there are any of you out there that are starting from square one like me. 

I started with a full butternut squash (I would have used pumpkin, but this worked too):

Cleaned it, cut it, and scooped out all of the seeds and stringy parts

Steamed it for 30 minutes or so

Then food processed it until smooth
That was easy.  Now proceed with the recipe as written:

Barb's Pumpkin Squares
Combine the following 4 ingredients:
1 16 oz. can pumpkin or 2 cups fresh pumpkin
4 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil

In a separate bowl, combine the following 5 ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Add dry mixture to wet mixture and pour into a jelly roll pan (aka - cookie sheet, I also didn't know what this was).  Bake at 350F (175C) for 25 - 30 minutes. 

After the cake has cooled - add delicious frosting:
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
(optional) sprinkle with crushed nuts of choice, I used pecans. 

These were a huge hit at Christmas, super moist and just as good with the butternut squash. 

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