Baking Cinnamon Pear Muffins

I love to cook, as evidenced by this blog! While most of what I cook ends up on here, there are some recipes that occur on a whim, in the middle of a hectic day, and while they taste fantastic…they are sent to the non-existent archives, in hope that one day I can write about them. Cooking takes skill, knowledge of delightful pairings, and painful combinations. It is also highly forgiving, and some dishes can be salvageable with added ingredients. I love to cook.

Baking…on the other hand…is different. There have been limited baking posts, mainly because I am phenomenally bad at baking. My undergraduate year was marred with references to ‘cookie soup’ (when I forgot about baking soda), various burnt desserts, and countless other failures. It was so bad, that a close friend of mine destroyed a batch of rice-krispie treats, and everyone assumed it was my fault! Despite this tragic history, this morning I decided to be brave and face the oven…I was going to make muffins!

Muffins are lovely, healthier forms of their cousin the cupcake. I grew up with muffins made from scratch (My mom is an amazing cook AND baker…she passed the baking gene to my sister…) My goal today was to save the two browning pears from a simple fate, Cinnamon Pear muffins! I searched pinterest to find a good recipe and found a really fun one from Italy Croissant & Parmesan. The only problem was that it was in metric units, and called for dairy ingredients that I didn’t have. Since I was going to need to convert to standard units, I figured it wouldn’t take much more effort to convert into a vegan dish.

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of almond milk
1/2 cups of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of sugar
1 banana
2 pears
1 tbs cinnamon
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs baking powder

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. The original recipe called for buttermilk, which I definitely did not have laying around. Since Almond milk is not as thick as buttermilk, the internet suggests adding two tablespoons of lemon juice to it. This makes the milk thicken, and honestly not look that appetizing. It also needs to sit for 5-10 minutes. Next came my egg substitute…bananas! Usually applesauce gets this honor, but I happened to have a banana, so I used that. Since the conversion is 1/4 cup of mashed banana per egg, I used one banana (1/2 a cup) to make up for the two eggs in the recipe. Finally, to replace the 8 tablespoons of butter needed, I used half a cup of vegetable oil. Once the milk is settled, combine the wet ingredients and add in the dry ingredients.

Pears must be in season, they are 99 cents a pound at Publix. Subtle and juicy, pears are awesome. In the words of my friend Christine “I love pears!” Wash and peel the two pears. Cut into tiny tiny pieces. Add to the mixture.

Once thoroughly mixed, divide into muffin holders and bake for 20 minutes at 410. Mine were not all done after 20, so I had to add 5 minutes. This recipe made 15 muffins!

Upon coming out, my muffins looked a little pitiful. Most had caved in, but all in all they tasted really good! Maybe I am getting better at this…


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