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Thursday, September 29,2011

Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

By Danette Randall

 

Fall is here, time for cheer, time for pumpkins, and lots of beer.

Yep, I just made that little ditty up. I can do more than bake, my friends. I’m just so stinking happy that it is officially fall that I keep breaking out into song, or maybe I’m a poet, or maybe I just think it is fun to rhyme really lame words.

Whatever the case, here is the treat, it’s tasty and simple, and can’t be beat. Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins. I don’t know what it is about fall that screams muffins, but I know I bake them like they are going out of style this time of year. They become center stage, trumping their fancier cousin, the cupcake.

These muffins are moist, sweet and buttery. The chocolate chips are just enough to satisfy your chocolate tooth (it’s the tooth right behind your sweet tooth) without overpowering the sweet batter. I love the pecans with these little muffins — they add a crunch, and they themselves have a buttery flavor, only bumping up the richness factor in these flavor-filled beauties.

Pecans also have a slight woody flavor, which helps balance out the sweetness, and although “woody flavor” might not seem appealing, trust me, it’s just the flavor component you need to make these the perfect muffin. Pecans are also rich in anti-oxidants. Just a handful contains vitamin E, calcium, zinc and fiber. That is one powerful nut, folks!

Whip these up for a nice Sunday brunch, serve them as dessert, or pop them in the kids’ lunch, since they are a very versatile treat. Me, I will be washing down a few muffins with some Tommy Knocker Pumpkin Ale.

Aahhh, how I love fall, it’s the best of them all.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.

Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter (melted and slightly cooled)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used 2 percent. You could use what you prefer, or cream.)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cups toasted pecans (chopped)
1 tbsp. granulated white sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-count baking tin with muffin liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, mix melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla.

Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture, stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.

Sprinkle the tablespoon of granulated sugar over top of muffins.

Bake for 16-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for five minutes, take out and place on wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Note: To toast pecans; place on baking sheet, toast at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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