Today’s Maple Pecan Muffins are dedicated to Tracey.
Tracey, you are dear and darling… and 15, which is equal parts hard and rad, I know.
Let me tell you a little about Tracey. Tracey had her 15th birthday last week. Tracey’s best friend Maggie sent me a pretty precious email asking me if I would send Tracey an autographed picture of myself for her birthday. See, Tracey is a great baker and a huuuuge fan of my site.
I’m not the sort to have pictures of myself to autograph on hand… that would be totally weird, so I sent Tracey a little birthday gift and handwritten note. Easy enough, right? In return Tracey sent me a very long, very excited, exceedingly adorable email to thank me for her birthday present. Seriously friends… this girl is priceless.
After reading Tracey’s email a handful of times (it was packed to the gills with information), here are a few things I want you to know about my new friend:
Tracey makes a mean lemon pound cake with blueberry sauce.
Tracey almost set her house ablaze trying to make these doughnuts.
Tracey is obsessed with muffins… and feeds them to her dog. Let’s all just pretend like that’s normal.
Tracey got a “Tracey the Baker” apron for her birthday. Clearly I have competition.
By sharing loads homemade cookies, Tracey is well on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school. Don’t get too popular Tracey… it might be overrated.
Tracey giggles a lot… not in emails, but this is just something I’ve surmised from being 15 and eating a lot of sugar once upon a time.
Tracey? Is that Jesus peeking over your shoulder on your fridge there? If so… awesome. If not… awkward.
Tracey these muffins are my little shout out to you because it seems like you get as excited about eggs and butter and sugar and flour as I do. That makes me happy. Thank you.
Oooh Maple Pecan Muffins. Holy smokes these muffins are good.
Here’s the trick with these muffins: use real maple syrup. Don’t even think about using the pancake syrup you might have hiding in your fridge. No way friend-o!
These muffins are moist, sweet, drenched in maple flavor and just lovely for Autumn. The pecans round out the sweetness and add just the right crunch. Weekend breakfast? Heck yes! You win!
Maple Pecan Muffins
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
makes 12-16 cupcakes
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 vanilla bean scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 Tablespoons browned butter (start with 6 tablespoons and melt it down just over 5 Tablespoons)
3/4 cup maple syrup, divided
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, plus 12 pecan haves (or the largest pecan pieces of the bunch for topping the muffins)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium flame. Butter should crackle and foam and then produce little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Turn flame to low, scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan (that’s where all the flavor is hiding) and remove from heat to cook a bit before using.
In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg and vanilla bean or extract.
Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon until just incorporated. Add melted butter and carefully mix until incorporated. Add the chopped nuts and half of the maple syrup (you can eyeball half of 3/4 cup) and fold until evenly dispersed throughout the batter.
Fill the muffin cups until about two thirds full (I was able to make 16 cupcakes). Place a large pecan piece on top of each unbaked muffin and drizzle all of the muffins with the remaining maple syrup.
Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes before removing to serve.