Walnut Whole Wheat Pear Chai Muffins
Laced with chai, cinnamon, vanilla and chunks of sweet, juicy pear with the crunch of candied walnuts, these whole wheat muffins are a great way to start your day. Especially when you’re having a tough week.
Last week was a hard one for us. My teenagers were both struggling with things and emotions and frustrations were running high. Thursday night we put away all our electronic devices, looked each other in the eye and just talked and cried and let it out. I was up waaaaay too late talking with each of them and when I woke up Friday morning, I felt drained both emotionally and physically. I needed some cooking therapy.
So I got up and made muffins. I had to short my shower in order to get them done in time, but I arrived at work in time for our morning meeting with a fresh, warm batch of Walnut Whole Wheat Pear Chai Muffins. I took one for myself and lgave the rest of them to the developers. Fortunately, I had left one behind at home so I could get some photos and have one more taste before they were gone.
One of the software developers I work with told me a story about another woman he worked with that would bake when she felt stressed out. Funny he should say that, I said, because that is exactly what I was doing. There’s something about baking that just makes you feel better.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup chai tea, brewed double strength
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flaxmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 ripe but firm pears, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe here) + 12 walnut halves
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Brew a cup of chai tea using two tea bags (I used half milk, half water for the liquid), then measure out 1/3 cup of the tea. Go ahead and add some extra hot water or milk to the rest of the cup so you have something lovely to sip on while you're baking.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt till smooth. Add the melted butter in a thin stream while stirring, then stir the chai tea into the mixture as well.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is mixed well.
- Reserve 12 walnut halves (or large pieces) and roughly chop about 1/2 cup of nuts. Fold the pears and nuts into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the muffin cups and fill all the way to the top. You may have a bit of extra batter ... I had enough for one extra, so I came out with a baker's dozen of muffins.
- Bake at 350 F for 25 - 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the largest muffin comes out clean.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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