2 Acorn Squash
1 cup butter room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped Diamond California Hazelnuts
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Mix the butter with the cinnamon and nutmeg. It is very important that the butter is room temperature so you can spread onto the squash easily and so that it will stick to the squash. Spread the butter so that it completely coats the inside of the squash and the edges. You should have some butter left over after your squash is covered. Keep that on the side you will need it again.
Pour the brown sugar into a shallow bowl. Dip the squash, butter side down into the brown sugar. Be sure not to shake any excess sugar off. Then use your fingers or spoon to scoop more brown sugar into the bowl of the squash so it is also covered in brown sugar. Again, don’t shake off the excess.
Place the squash upside down onto a baking sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and a quick spray of cooking spray. Score the backside of the squash with a knife. This is very important so the squash will steam and it actually helps to cook a lot faster. Bake for 25 – 28 minutes until tender. You will also notice that the brown sugar and butter will have started to caramelize on the baking sheet.
In the meantime, you can toast your nuts. I like Diamond hazelnuts for this recipe, but you can use any Diamond nuts that are your favorite. Place your nuts in a pan on medium-low heat and cook until they turn light brown. You have to be careful they do not burn and make sure you stir a lot. Once they are browned, remove and set aside.
Once your squash is baked, remove from the oven and turn upright. If you want your squash a little more caramelized on top, you can place it back in the oven upright and bake for another 3 – 5 minutes. Note: I did not do this, and it was still caramelized and delicious.
Brush a layer of the butter you set aside on top and sprinkle with your toasted nuts.
And eat! Yum!