Recipe of the Week: Spiced Pear Muffins
via the Kitchn.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
2 to 2 1/2 cups pears, unpeeled and diced small
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger, 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Heat your oven to 425°F. Place muffin liners in all the wells of a tin. In a mixer on high speed, cream together the sugars and the softened butter until they resemble fluffy frosting, about 1 minute. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated, about 1 minute each. Mix in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture followed by 1/3 of the milk. Continue alternating between the flour and the milk, mixing just until the flour is incorporated. It's OK if there is still some flour on the sides of the bowl. Do not over mix.
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and stir gently to incorporate the last of the flour. Add the diced pears and any optional ingredients all at once and fold them into the batter. Fill the cups and mound slightly on top. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar. Place the muffin tin in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 400°F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan once in the middle of baking. The muffins are done when the tops looked cracked and toasted, and when a toothpick inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.