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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Yellow Squash Muffins

There are some food combinations that immediately speak to me–chocolate and hazelnut, tomato and garlic, bacon and, well, anything. Other combinations make me wonder–is this a joke? This recipe falls in the latter category. Yellow squash and applesauce? Blech. Since I had some homemade applesauce and large, lovely yellow squash on hand, I thought I’d throw caution to the wind and give this a try. This recipe is from Food.com, but was shared with me via our weekly Produce Box. How was it? Abso-freakin-lutely delicious. These taste more like corn muffins, but they don’t have any corn in them. We loved them. They are moist and light and not too sweet. Perfect with our acorn squash and apple soup and they would be delicious with chili as well. We ate our fill and froze the rest for some future fall soup nights!

Yellow Squash Muffins (makes 18)

2 lbs. yellow summer squash
2 eggs
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. applesauce (we used our crock pot applesauce)
1 c. sugar
3 c. flour (we used whole wheat pastry flour)
5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners or lightly grease cups.
2. Wash squash, trim the ends and cut into 1-inch slices.
3. Put squash in a medium saucepan along with 1/2 cup of water and cook for about 20 minutes or until very soft.
4. Drain squash very well and mash with a potato masher.
5. Measure 2 cups of the cooked squash into a medium mixing bowl and add eggs, butter and applesauce. Stir well and set aside.
6. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of mixture and add wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
8. Bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Cool 5 minutes in the tin and remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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