Pear Muffins

And now for something completely different from macarons, which seem to be elusively difficult to get right these muffins are basically impossible to get wrong.The most challenging part is chopping up the walnuts, which always results in my kitchen having walnut pieces in the oddest places. I could by walnuts already chopped, but I like them to be a bit chunkier than the ones you can find. I like some good substantial pieces of walnuts in my muffins.

I love nuts in baked goods, cookies, muffins, brownies, whatever. My mom  doesn't like nuts in things, so I didn't discover that you could even put nuts in brownies until I was in 4th grade. I admit it blew my mind a little; it was so brilliant. Pecans are probably my favorite type of nut but walnuts are also great. As are almonds. I feel like you have to pair the correct nut with the dish; walnuts always seem a little inelegant, perfect for a hearty muffin whereas something like almond slices seem much fancier. I bet you didn't know anyone thought this much about nuts, did you?
It is still a little early for pears around here. We're still getting peaches, nectarines and plums (yum!). But it is almost September! How did that happen? So that means pretty soon it will be pear season. And then you can make these hearty muffins. I think they would be great on a crisp fall morning with a cup of coffee. Not that we get those in Seattle: crisp fall mornings, I mean. We usually get drizzle and grey. I suppose we don't really go in for "a cup of coffee" either, more like a "tall hazelnut latte".

Pear Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups chopped peeled ripe pears (about 6 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the pears and pecans.
2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.
Recipe from Taste of Home

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