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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pear-Pecan Muffins

Is it normal that it makes me unbelievably happy to cook things from overabundant ingredients in my house? When I notice extra anything in my house, zucchini, mushrooms, oranges, apples etc. that will go bad soon it's like I get kicked into high gear and I spend an embarrassingly long but gleeful time trying to use them up. Maybe its my "waste not" instinct, I don't know, but I love it. This week I was faced with pears that looked like they only had another day or so to live and so I had to come up with something quick. These muffins were the result and the over ripe pears gives them such sweet and distinct pear flavor where the taste of pears is usually more subtle. Now, I don't usually bake with nuts, the combination just doesn't do it for me (brownies with walnuts make me ANGRY!) but for some reason the pecans here really add good flavor and some mild texture. But if putting the pecans in gives you the same reaction I have when faced with a walnut brownie then leave them out. These are perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light dessert and they freeze beautifully so I can enjoy them long past the time the pears would have expired. Enjoy!

1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup pear sauce (or applesauce)
4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and pear sauce together. Add the pecans and pears and mix again. In a separate bowl mix the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients. Add to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Spray a muffin pan and fill each cup 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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