Thursday, October 21, 2010

When bad ideas go good

It is usually a good idea, on the morning of a Foodie Girl lunch, to get some exercise and have a very light breakfast. 

Like eating a protein bar and a Smart Water, maybe, followed by an hour of kickboxing.   Or, chasing your kids around the house trying to get them out the door, whilst eating a small banana and chugging a double espresso.  You could even do some flow yoga after a nice pot of herbal tea and dry wheat toast, if your husband will stop mocking you long enough.  This one's unlikely if he is aware you're going out to lunch later.

It is a bad idea to bake.  It is a particularly bad idea to bake something like these little morning miracles.

But I had people coming.   I had to.

Pecan Pie Muffins
Discovered via the Tasty Kitchen Blog, adapted from a recipe by this home chef.  They had me at the tag line:  It's pecan pie.  In a muffin.  AND IT IS!!!  You won't believe it until you eat one, and then you will wonder where these have been your whole life.

1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. pecans, chopped (I made mini muffins, so I really chopped 'em up good)
2/3 c. butter, softened*
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Pre heat the oven to 350, and spray 12 muffin tins or 24 mini muffin tins with cooking spray.  Set aside.   In a nice-sized mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, salt and pecans until combined.
In a smaller mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, butter, and vanilla, then add to the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined.

Fill prepared muffin tins 2/3 full.   I find an ice cream scoop to be an incredibly helpful tool for doing this, by the way.   Once you try it, you'll never go back.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.   The muffins will not puff up a lot, but more rise a bit in the center while leaving a toasty, crispy edge.  Don't worry, you did it right.

Allow to cool for just a bit, then serve.  When you bite into one and get that caramelized crusty outside and the warm, nutty inside, you will be SO glad that you had people coming.   I was.   As were all the other starving Foodie Girls who scarfed down the leftovers before we went to lunch.

 *I will point out that the original recipe calls for softened butter, which I used.  The photos on the blog post showed melted butter, which is more commonly used in muffins.  I have to say, they came out wonderfully as directed, but feel free to do what you want.   Since I will probably be making these again very, very soon, I'll try it the other way and report back.

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