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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Experiment #49: Maple Pecan Muffins

I was looking for some new breakfast foods to feed the family and I found what looked to be a quick muffin recipe from Nigella Lawson's Feast.

Of course I have to make my usual adjustments.  I replaced half of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour for more fiber.  I thought 4 teaspoons of baking powder looked like way too much baking powder, so I cut it in half.  I looked at other recipes and 2 teaspoons seemed to be a more reasonable amount of baking powder.  I reduced the maple syrup in half.  I also replaced half the oil with applesauce.  Don't ask me why this works, but it does!  In other recipes that I replaced some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I have found the batter is often too dense when I do this substitution and I figured out that an addition of water really helps the batter become more manageable, so I added water to the recipe.

Maple Pecan Muffins adapted from Nigella Lawson's Feast
1 cup whole pecans
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 400F.  Fill a 12-cup muffin tray with paper liners.

Roughly chop pecans and reserve 1/4 cup for topping.

Mix together the remaining pecans with the flours, salt, wheat germ, and baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, egg, vanilla, and water.

Pour the liquids into the dry mixture and gently fold to mix.  The batter can have some lumps.   Do not overmix, because these muffins can get tough. Spoon the batter into muffin cups.

Chop the reserved pecans more finely and top the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  I would check around 16 minutes and see how they are looking.  The nuts will turn golden, but the muffins will be somewhat pale.  Remove muffins to a cooling rack.

The results: 
These muffins were amazing!  Easy and delicious.  My little one went crazy for them and shoved a quarter of a muffin in his mouth.  Impressive for a 15 month old! He ate it up and so did my husband and I.  I would definitely make these again.

I did think that maybe I should have done the original topping which was mixing in a tablespoon of brown sugar with the finely chopped pecans and topping the muffin.  The muffins were barely sweet.  It might have been nice to have a bit more sweetness.

Link to the book:
Nigella Lawson's Feast
http://www.amazon.com/Feast-Food-Celebrate-Nigella-Lawson/dp/1401301363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380443285&sr=8-1&keywords=nigella+feast

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