Gruyere-Crusted Butternut Squash & Sage Scones

(45 minutes + roasting time; makes 16 mini scones)

I took my favorite winter squash soup as inspiration, and ran with it to create a cheesy autumnal squash scone recipe. The butternut and Gruyere play beautifully together, with just a hint of cayenne for welcome heat. Lovely on their own for a savory breakfast, or with a big bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. If you make a double batch (using the entire squash), you can freeze extras to pull out on a rainy day.

1 1/2 c. cooked butternut squash (about 1/2 a squash)
2 c. flour, plus extra for dusting
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cayenne
2 t. minced sage
3/4 t. salt
3/4 t. sugar
6 T cold butter, chopped
1 c. grated Gruyere, divided
2 eggs
milk for brushing
16 small sage leaves

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (about 20g)

(NOTE: To cook squash, either roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes until tender, let cool, and peel. (Preferred, as it brings out the sweetness of the squash.) Alternatively, peel squash, chop into cubes, and place in a microwave-safe bowl with a tablespoon of water; cover bowl with plastic wrap and pierce it a few times, then microwave on high for 5-7 minutes until tender. Drain any excess water.)

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, cayenne, minced sage, and salt into a mixing bowl.

3. Work in the butter with your fingers to make an uneven crumbly mixture. Stir in half the cheese.

4. In a separate bowl, combine beaten eggs and puree. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir to create a fairly wet dough.

5. If you want to be able to roll out and shape these scones, you’ll need to add a little flour to get an appropriate texture. Alternatively, press dough into a molded scone pan (spray first with baking spray for easy release), or spoon onto parchment paper on a baking sheet for drop scones.

6. Brush each scone with a little milk; top with the remaining cheese. Press a few pumpkin seeds on top, and a sage leaf brushed with milk on both sides.

7. Bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through, with the cheese browning. Serve warm.

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