Maple Pecan Muffins

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I enjoy making muffins each week for family breakfasts and snacks, and this is my first batch of fall-flavored muffins for the year. These muffins are nutty, tender and just a bit sweet. The flavors are more subtle than mixes with maple flavoring–I like that, but you can also add 1/2 teaspoon of maple flavoring if you want to oomph up the maple. One of the things I like most about making my own muffins is that I know exactly what is in them (and what isn’t). Yes to whole wheat flour, organic sugar, locally harvested nuts and real butter. No to transfats, oils, food coloring and synthetic flavoring chemicals.

As with any baking involving nuts, I definitely recommend toasting the pecans before adding them to the mix–toasting definitely adds a depth to the pecan flavor that you won’t have otherwise. We are trying to watch our sugar intake, so these don’t have a fancy streusel topping or icing, but you could certainly add that if you like! We just topped them with pecan halves and a little sprinkle of organic, brown sugar. Simple, cozy and yummy!

Maple Pecan Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted, organic butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or maple)
  • 2 farm eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 12 pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the pecan halves in a shallow baking pan and toast them for 4-5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Chop the pecans into fairly small chunks. Set aside.
  2. Line a muffin tin with bleach-free liners or oil with a small amount of coconut oil. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, syrup, extract, eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
    Fold in the chopped pecans.

  6. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and top each muffin with a pecan half and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Cool individual muffins on a cooling rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or wrap and freeze for up to three months.
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Almond Butter Stuffed Banana Muffins

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While working on the post for preserving nuts (see here), I made a lot of chocolate almond butter. I mean, really, a LOT. So I started looking for creative ways to use some of it in recipes (stuffed pancakes, anyone?). Earlier in the summer, we posted a recipe for Whole Wheat Linzer Muffins (almond muffins stuffed with raspberry jam) and that got me thinking–would using almond butter as stuffing work? Turns out, the answer is a delicious YES!

These muffins are satisfying and filling. I used a regular banana muffin recipe and filled the muffin cups with a tablespoon of batter. I topped that bit of batter with a small ball of chocolate almond butter, then filled the muffin cups the rest of the way. Very easy and, if you have a small helper with you, they could make the little balls of almond butter for you and get some real world application for their budding play dough skills!

Almond Butter Stuffed Banana Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
  • 3/4 cup organic coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 large farm egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the cups of a muffin pan with paper liners or oil. Set aside.
  3. Make 12-1″ balls from the almond butter and set aside.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.
  5. In a larger bowl, wisk together the bananas, sugar, egg and butter. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until all the flour is moistened.
  6. Drop a tablespoon or so of batter into each muffin cup. Place one ball of almond butter into each muffin cup.
  7. Fill the cups with batter and bake for 15-18 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick. Tops should be browned and the toothpick should come out clean.
  8. Let cool in muffin cups for 10 minutes. Remove muffins to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  9. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen in individual freezer bags for up to 6 months.
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