If you're craving something different this year, try a squash puree (from acorn, kabocha, or butternut). It typically doesn't come in a can, but it's sure worth the effort. Image, from top down: Acorn -- Delicately sweet and mild. Butternut -- Silky and nutty. Kabocha -- Dense and earthy.
Sugar and spice aren't the only things nice in this version of the beloved snickerdoodle: We added pumpkin puree. Besides infusing the cookies with seasonal flavor, it also results in a moist, cakey center. Rolling the dough in spiced sanding sugar lends sparkle and shine.
In Season: Similar to other types of winter squash such as pumpkins and acorn squash, butternut squash are at their best from early fall through winter.What to Look For: Butternut squash have a hard, light-tan rind and a golden-orange flesh. They range in size from 6 to 12 inches long and weigh between 2 and 5 pounds; choose one that feels heavy for its size. The skin should be smooth and uniform in color with a matte surface.How to Store: This hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.
In Season: Acorn squash is at its peak from October through December, though many supermarkets carry it year-round.What to Look For: With its ridged, dark-green skin, sweet yellow-orange flesh, and handy size, acorn squash is one of the most popular winter squashes. Choose acorn squash that is heavy for its size, with a hard skin free of blemishes.How to Store: The squash's sturdy exterior allows it to be stored at room temperature for up to one month, or longer if kept in a cool, dark place.