Butternut Squash Spread on Cheese Croutons

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Butternut Squash Spread on Cheese Croutons

Yield: 4 dozen appetizers

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min

Everyone at our fall happy hour party raved about this appetizer. It had amazing flavor combination and it was perfect for fall.

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 whole baguette, cut into 48 slices
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
small sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary for garnishes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a 13x9-inch baking dish. Add hot water to dish to depth of 1-inch. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until squash is tender. Remove squash pulp, discarding shells. Mash pulp and place in large bowl.

2. Sauté garlic in butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat until golden. Add garlic to squash pulp in bowl. Add cream cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and next 3 ingredients to bowl; mash until blended. Stir in pecans.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place baguette slices on 2 large ungreased baking sheets; brush or drizzle olive oil over baguette slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 4 minutes. Sprinkle baguette slices with remaining 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 2 more minutes or until cheese melts.

4. Spoon 1 Tablespoon squash mixture onto each cheese crouton. Place on a serving tray, and garnish, if desired.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Christmas With Southern Living 2000)