Brown Sugar Pear Muffins

I don’t mean to brag, but I think I did really well this past week with my 10 in 2010 goals. I exercised every day (except Sunday, that is my day off), I ate breakfast at a reasonable time, and I made a point to plan balanced lunches instead of snacking all afternoon. I am feeling great!

On the plus side, I get to spend time with Eric in the morning now that I am getting up earlier. We work out together and eat breakfast together before he has to leave for work. For me that is really something special because he usually leaves for work before I am even up. I have found that uninterrupted one-on-one time with Eric is definitely how I like to start my morning.

Not that the benefits of exercise, eating well, and extra time with my husband aren’t gratifying enough, but I did feel like I deserved a little treat after all that hard work. I was craving something sweet and baked, but I still wanted the treat to have healthy elements to it. These muffins are full of grated pear and ground almonds. The pear taste isn’t strong, but the vanilla bean, spices, brown sugar, and almonds provide a lot of flavor in this moist muffin. They were definitely a big hit in our family. And my picky eater, Logan, didn’t even know he had eaten pears!

Brown Sugar Pear Muffins
a goodLife {eats} creation

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups grated fresh pear, drained of excess water

Streusal Topping

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbs cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until you have small crumbly bits. Stir in the ground almonds. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Set aside. Using a electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat together the sugars and butter sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Cut the vanilla bean in half, then cut a slit down the middle in the half you are using. Use a knife or spoon to scrape out the beans. Add the eggs, vanilla bean, and almond extract to the butter mixture, beating to combine. Stir in half of the flour mixture followed by half of the grated pear, and repeat.

Line muffin cups with paper liners. Divide batter evenly among cups – I used a scant 1/4 cup per muffin. Sprinkle the tops of the batter with the streusal mixture.

Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 15 minutes

Recipe made approximately 2 dozen.