A sweet dumpling squash is an adorable fall vegetable; round and petite with a creamy yellow-gold flesh. But if you attempt to make a dessert like Sweet Dumpling Squash Bars, will it appeal to kids? Well…here’s a true story: I made these bars yesterday and started taking pictures of them next to some whole sweet dumpling squashes. Our 9-year-old’s friend, who was over at the time, looked at the little scene on the table and said, “Are those bars made out of squash?!?” Before I could get a word out, my 9-year-old responded: “No – they’re pumpkin! She doesn’t make bars out of squash.” And I suppose at that point I could have protested, or corrected, but I just kept my mouth shut while they devoured the bars. Later I got a text from the friend’s mom: “He said to tell you that he really enjoyed those pumpkin things you made.”
Anyway, I don’t necessarily support lying to kids, but they believe what they want to believe. These sweet dumpling squash bars basically taste like pumpkin pie in bar form (and a pumpkin is a squash anyway, right?).
Sweet Dumpling Squash Bars
2 sweet dumpling squashes (small round mottled green and yellow squash)
For the crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups (one 13-ounce can) evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Cut the squashes in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves face-down in about 1/2 inch of water in a baking pan. Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Scoop out the flesh and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until evenly mixed. Press the mixture flat (with a side crust if desired) into a 13 x 9 1/2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the squash with the evaporated milk and eggs. Mix well. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and continue mixing until smooth. Pour the squash mixture into the baked crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard has set in the middle. Cool, cut into squares, and serve. (Optional – chill the cooled bars and serve cold – our kids like it this way.) Serves 8 to 10.
Many thanks to Melissa’s Produce for these beautiful squashes.
Blogger disclosure: We did not receive compensation for this post. We did, however, receive squashes to sample from Melissa’s.