Cheesy Butternut Squash & Onion Knishes

October  4, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Asha Loupy
  • Makes 12 to 16 knishes
Author Notes

These cheesy squash-filled knishes are an autumnal take on my Savory Potato & Onion Knish recipe (http://food52.com/recipes...). They take a little bit of time to make, but the end result is certainly worth it.

I love making a big batch of these, freezing them and reheating them in the toaster oven for easy weekday breakfasts and last-minute weekend brunches.

The dough and the technique is adapted from Joe’s Pastry’s recipe for “The Tra-dish Knish.” —Asha Loupy

Test Kitchen Notes

Overall this dish is delicious, and they fill your house with a delightful cheesy smell while baking. The recipe is well written and the techniques used to create this dish were easy to follow, even for someone new to making knishes! the cooking time after you add the sugar to the onions was closer to 35 minutes to even start to get a golden color. I think a little more sugar or a little higher temperature might have caramelized these a little nicer. —Whitney

What You'll Need
  • For the dough:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • For the filling & cheesy topping:
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water, plus one teaspoon
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces aged gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  1. To make the knish dough, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, water, and vinegar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten egg and wet ingredients. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir the mixture together until it starts to form a loose dough.
  2. Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a couple times until the dough comes together (don’t over-knead it or your dough will be tough). Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for at least one hour at room temperature. You can also make this dough ahead of time, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. While the dough is resting, make the knish filling: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast until tender and lightly golden, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the squash, set aside and lower the temperature of the oven to 350°F.
  4. While the squash is roasting, melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, remaining salt and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and let the onions slowly cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to turn translucent and begin to breakdown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover the onions and stir in the teaspoon of sugar. Continue to cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized and has turned golden brown, about another 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the green onions and 1/4 cup water into the caramelized onion mixture, making sure to scrape up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the onion mixture from the stove and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, mash together the cooked butternut squash, reserved onion and leek mixture and cream cheese. Add half of the grated gruyère cheese and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To assemble the knishes: Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, shape half the dough into a rectangle and roll out into a very thin sheet. It should end up being about roughly about 18 x 8 inches.
  8. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, create about a 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick log from half of your butternut squash and onion mixture on the bottom of the dough. Roll the filling up in the dough, creating a long log, making sure not to roll it too tight—a little slack will help your knish not burst open when baking. You should be able to roll it about 2 to 3 times (this will result in delectably flaky layers in the finished product).
  9. Using your finger, make indentations across the log every 2 1/2 inches. Gently twist the dough at each indentation (the log will resemble links of sausage). With a sharp knife or dough cutter, cut the dough at each twist.
  10. To form the knish, take one of the cut segments, pinch closed the twisted ends, place one of the twisted ends down, and gently flatten the knish into a squat round. Pinch the top closed and make a small indentation in the center of the knish—another way to prevent them from breaking open in the oven.
  11. Repeat with the remaining cut segments, placing the finished knishes on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Repeat the rolling and assembling process with the remaining half of the dough and filling. You should end up with about 12 to 16 small knishes.
  12. For the topping: In another small bowl, whisk together the egg and the remaining teaspoon of water. Brush the top of each knish with the egg wash and top with the remaining grated gruyère cheese and the chopped chives.
  13. Bake the knish for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are lightly golden on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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