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MainRecipesHoliday | Pear, Ginger and Roasted Walnut Muffins

   Pear, Ginger and Roasted Walnut Muffins submitted by Mom Johnson
Roasting or toasting nuts enhances their flavor. We made these muffins the morning after Kevin and Belen's Fall wedding. (To make this recipe easier...I just used already-toasted nuts and folded them into the finished batter along with the pears.)

Spread nuts out on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350 degree oven, roasting for 10 minutes. while the nuts are hot, stir in 1 T. butter and 1/4 tsp. salt. when cool, coarsely chop and set aside.

Turn the oven up to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the flour, baking powder, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and the sugar for a full 30 seconds.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and the egg a few strokes, then beat in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla and orange zest.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Beat with a hand mixer or by hand with a fork. Stir or beat well. Stir in the candied ginger.

In a cold bowl with cold beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted. Beat just a little beyond this soft peak stage. By hand, stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream to lighten the batter. Then fold in the rest of the cream; fold in the pears and walnuts.

Spray muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. (I used cupcake paper liners.) Fill muffin tins almost to the top and sprinkle some coarse sugar on top of each muffin. Turn oven temp down to 400 degrees and bake till well-risen and lightly-browned, about 20 minutes. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

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v 1 cup walnut pieces
v 1 T. butter
v 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
v 2 cups flour
v 2 tsp. baking powder
v 1 1/4 cups sugar
v 2 large egg yolks
v 1 large egg
v 1/2 cup canola oil
v 1/2 cup buttermilk
v 1 tsp. vanilla
v 1 T. grated orange zest
v 3 T. finely chopped candied ginger
v 1/2 cup heavy cream
v 1 1/2 cups canned pears, drained well on a paper towel and chopped into1/2 inch chunks
v 1/4 cup coarse sugar for topping

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