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Still Life: Art in… Muffins! Pear, Almond and Chocolate Muffins

PEAR ALMOND & CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
makes 12 regular or 6 jumbo

What you need

Dry mix

Wet mix

Garnish:

¹  You can use all purpose or an equal mix of all-purpose and whole wheat. For best results though I recommend using my go-to muffin flour mix recipe which follows below

² I have never tried using nut milks or coconut milk, which is why these ingredients are not listed as potential swaps. I suspect they would work fine but I hesitate to recommend a swap I have not yet experimented with. As for the other types of dairy, I use them interchangeably in all my muffin recipes and found the results to be equally successful.

³ Peeling pears is strictly a matter of preference and choosing either will not alter the final results because the peel of pears is very tender, unlike an apple.

How to make it

  1. Heat oven to 375°F
  2. On a cookie sheet, lay out raw almonds in a single layer and set to toast in the oven until golden brown. This will take 10 to 20 minutes depending on the almonds you use, whether they are sliced, slivered or whole. Set a timer for 10 minutes and add time as needed in 5 minute increments. Let cool before grinding (in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle)
  3. Line with paper cups or grease muffin tins
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredient: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, eggs, oil, vanilla and almond extract
  6. Peel and dice pears in small pieces and chop chocolate in chip size chunks if using a chocolate bar, set aside
  7. Add wet mix to dry and stir gently until just moistened. Stir in almonds
  8. Reserve ¼ of the pear cubes and an equal amount of chocolate to sprinkle on top of the muffins. Add remaining  pears and chocolate pieces to the batter and gently fold to incorporate
  9. Sprinkle muffins with the reserved pears and chocolate. If there is any ground almonds left, sprinkle a bit as well on each muffin
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and just set in the middle

Muffin Flour Blend

Why use this muffin flour? It yields tender centers and crispy tops.

Make a big batch ahead and have it ready at your finger tips.

5 cups all-purpose flour
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup ground flaxseed

Happy baking!