This recipe was inspired by Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter with speculoos cookies but it's only moderately sweet. I make it in the slow cooker and used homegrown red kuri squash, which is my favorite winter squash because the skin is edible. The Masala Sugar is a recipe by Austrian food blogger and cookbook author Susanne Zimmel ("Frau Ziii"). It makes more than you need for this recipe, which is usually not a problem, it is also fabulous in any other recipe where you would use pumpkin or gingerbread spice. The recipe makes about three pint jars. I like to freeze two and keep one in the fridge. —Nadia Hassani
5 hours 45 minutes
green cardamom pods (about 24)
whole fennel seeds
small cinnamon stick
dried ginger chips
light brown sugar
(heaping) unsweetened baking cocoa
red kuri squash, halved, seeds and fibers removed
canola oil, for brushing
light brown sugar
speculooos cookies, finely crushed, more to taste
In This Recipe
For the Masala Sugar, crush the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. In a small, ungreased pan roast all the spices and the ginger chips over low to medium heat until fragrant, shaking the pan often so the spices won’t burn. Finely grind the spices in a spice grinder while still warm. Let cool, then mix with the sugar and the cocoa. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in a cool, dark place.
For the pumpkin butter, preheat the oven to 400° F. Brush the red kuri halves all around with oil and place cut side down on a jelly roll pan. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool, then puree until smooth using a stick blender or the food processor. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add masala sugar and brown sugar and stir well to combine. Set the slow cooker to high. cover, and cook for about 1 hour, or until the mixture is simmering. Turn slow cooker down to low and cook for about 4 more hours, stirring every 30 minutes to prevent burning. The pumpkin butter will be very thick. Stir in lemon juice and let cool.
Add the crushed cookies and stir evenly to combine. Transfer to jars with screwtop lids and refrigerate for 7 to 10 days, or freeze.