Monday, October 13, 2008


I am so excited! I have found you the most wonderful recipe. It's been in my recipe file for a year because it certainly sounded different, but the question was: would it be good? Well, it is -- and then some. Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens for this gem of a recipe. If it sounds weird, just work through it because you must -- you absolutely must -- try this. I cut the recipe in half to make 6 muffins, using 1/2 large Bartlett pear. I suggest you make the whole recipe, because you will eat these right up. And this, coming from a not-so-enthusiastic gingerbread person. Gingerbread and ginger muffins are usually last -- dead last -- on my list of things to make. And pears are not high on my list either. But these are different. Is it the soft, sweet pear -- or is it the moist, spicy, flavorful, light muffin -- or maybe the melted dark chocolate on top? How about all of the above. These are on my A list of best muffins. Click on the link below to get the full recipe. Here's the half batch recipe that I made. Follow directions closely, especially cooling time in the muffin pan. If you try to take these out early, they'll break apart. And don't overfill the muffin cups, like I did. Only fill them 2/3 full because when you put the pear wedges in, they'll fill up more.
Gingerbread Pear Muffins, Half Batch
Source: Better Homes & Gardens (Click the link for the full recipe)
Rating: 10 out of 10
3/4 cup flour (I used 1/4 cup bread flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. sea salt
scant 2 Tbsp. butter
scant 1/3 cup molasses
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I used 3/4 tsp. Stevia)
1/2 large egg (separate white from yolk and measure half of each)
3 Tbsp. boiling water
1/2 large pear, cut into 6 wedges
1.5 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
optional: raw sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 6-cup muffin tin with flour-added nonstick cooking spray. For best results, use a 2-1/2 inch muffin cup. (I used a 2-1/4" cup pan and had too much batter, making it even more difficult to get the muffins out.)
In a medium bowl, combine first 6 ingredients (dry ingredients), whisking till well combined.
In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave the butter till melted. Add molasses, brown sugar and egg and whisk till well combined. Whisk in boiling water. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full; add pear wedge to each muffin cup; press lightly. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (Mine took 17 minutes.) If using raw sugar, sprinkle it over tops now, then add chocolate pieces to tops of muffins.
Cool in pan on rack for a full 10 minutes. Use a table knife to smooth melted chocolate over tops of muffins. Remove from cups and finish cooling on rack. Yield: 6 muffins
Here's what happens if you take them out of the pans too soon: they just break apart. But even then they're delicious. I ate all the crumbs that dropped through the wire rack. And all the chocolate drippings as well. These muffins have wrecked my diet!

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