RECIPE | Brown Sugar and Pecan Baked Acorn Squash

Looking for a unique dessert recipe to make this Valentine's Day? We've got you covered. Our friends at CHEW Dinner & Brunch made this sweet and sugary baked acorn squash (recreated from a menu done by Chef Cole Arimes) and it's love in vegetable form.

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From the Chef: This dessert is SUPER easy, and very rich & sweet! There are several ways to change it up using different nuts, different ice creams, etc. [We re-created this from a dinner that Chef Cole Arimes created.... if you want one that's insanely, stupidly amazing, stop by Coles 735 Main. ]

The Recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 acorn squash, cut in half (we got ours from Flat Creek Farm in Bath County)

2 tablespoons, brown sugar

2 tablespoons, butter (softened)

2 tablespoons, maple syrup (we got ours from Spring Valley Farm in London, KY)

salt and pepper

1 pint of local ice cream (try Crank & Boom, Sorella, or Sav's Chill - all in Lexington)

Candied Pecans:

1 pound, your nut of choice (we used pecans, also try pistachios)

1 cup, white sugar

1 teaspoon, salt

1 egg white

1 teaspoon, water

1 teaspoon, ground cinnamon

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Candied Pecans: preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix in a bowl; sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk the egg white and water together in a separate bowl, until frothy. Toss in pecans (or other nuts) in the egg white mixture (we like the nuts cut in half, but you do you). Mix the sugar/cinnamon mixture into the egg/nut mixture until nuts are evenly coated. Spread onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes (until nuts are evenly browned).

Squash: preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scoop the seeds and pulp out of both halves of squash and throw away. In a small bowl, mix; brown sugar, butter, syrup, salt and pepper (to taste). Rub the squash (flesh side) with the mixture and place on a greased baking sheet or in a pan/dish, flesh side up. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, until the squash is tender when poked with a fork. Top with one (or three) scoops of ice cream, and sprinkle candied pecans (or whatever nut you chose) on top. Enjoy, and commence food coma.

Foodie Tip: start baking this dessert in the oven right before you start eating, and it will be finished by the time you are done with dinner. It will be fresh, hot, and oh-so-good.