Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pear-Pecan Muffins

Fall! I know I have been MIA for a few months... Summer is more or less a time of non-baking in my house. There sure was a whole lot of ice-cream making but the oven was pretty much given a big well-deserved break. With the first cooler days of the season though, my baking addiction kicked in full gear and I was right back in the kitchen, mixing and stirring, developing recipes, and using my family as guinea pigs... :) Pears have been in season for a few weeks now and they are truly delicious! I just had to think up something to bake with them! After some research and a good deal of experimentation, I ended up with a flavor combination that came out better than I even imagined it.

Pear and pecans go so well together in my humble opinion, I decided to pronounce them forever married in this quintessentially fall recipe. To give the whole shebang an extra oomph, I threw in a handful of crystalized ginger as well. Who could resist pears, pecans and ginger together in one place? I knew I couldn't. And my kiddos have been going nuts over these delicious, moist, fluffy muffins too! They pack a punch of flavor with all the warm spices and are also pretty healthy, considering there are four whole cups of pears in them. The nuts give you a good protein kick and are super yummy to boot. I am head over heels in love with these fruity, nutty, spicy muffins!

Pear-Pecan Muffins
(makes 24 muffins)

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut oil)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp flax seed meal
11/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup finely diced crystalized ginger
4 cups peeled and finely chopped pears, about 4 large pears (I used Bartlett)
11/4 cups chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease muffin pans (recipe makes exactly 24 regular size muffins). Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together sugars and oil. Add eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, flax seed meal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix until combined.
Add crystalized ginger, pears, and pecans.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks.

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