Stuck in a muffin loop

Current Music: Naked Mole Rats – Can’t find my way home (thank you Jim and Tami for sending kick-ass music to get me through busy nights!)

Mrs Windy City Vegan, who happens to be a good friend of mine as well as a tester for two of our cookbooks (or have I lost track?), was super generous and sent me a jar of her homemade sage-infused pear butter, after mentioning it here.

So I made half a batch of these muffins again, and I’m re-posting the recipe with changes included. For some reason, I didn’t check the temperature used in the original recipe and went for a lower temp. It worked out really well too, maybe even better.

Keep in mind I weigh most of my ingredients these days: I’ve said it before and I’ll take the risk of sounding like a broken record you’ll want to kick in the shins (yes, broken records happen to be the proud owners of shins in my world) by repeating it’s possible to find cheap kitchen scales that you’re bound to find invaluable and far more practical than measuring cups. I’m strangely compelled and bratty enough to end this particular sentence with: So there!

Mo’ Muffins:

Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup (120 ml) soymilk
1/4 cup (60 ml) peanut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (80 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (100 g) pear butter or applesauce or whatever similar item you have at hand
1 teaspoon pure hazelnut extract (or vanilla if you cannot find hazelnut extract)
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (15 g) wheat germ
Scant 1/4 cup (30 g) cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup (44 g) chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup (40 g) dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat 6 cups out of a standard muffin tin with spray.
In a medium bowl, combine milk, oil, sugar, pear butter and extract.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, wheat germ, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Stir wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix. Fold in chocolate and cherries.
Divide batter into prepared cups. Bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 6 muffins

I topped mine with this frosting, leftover from preparing another recipe. It really works well here, but the muffins will be tasty on their own too. Also, depending on how much you want to apply on top of the muffins, you might have leftovers. Have cookies, will spread-leftovers-on-them-and-travel?

Scant 2 cups (227 g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (56 g) nondairy butter
1 1/2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure hazelnut extract (replace with vanilla if needed)

Beat all ingredients until perfectly smooth and combined. Apply on top of muffins. Add a few pieces of chopped chocolate on top for decoration, if desired.

  • Josiane says:

    Sage-infused pear butter – that sounds delicious! And I’m sure it makes for wonderful muffins. That and the hazelnut flavor, chocolate and dried cherries… yum!

    • Celine says:

      let’s have a tea party? white gloves and petit doigt en l’air mandatory.

      • Josiane says:

        Yes! And you know what? I used to be a pro at this petit doigt en l’air thing! My brothers were endlessly teasing me about it when we were kids… I wonder if I still do it, now that no one remarks about it anymore. We’ve gotta have a tea party so that I can find out! :)

        • Celine says:

          I’ve always been better at the middle finger in the air thing, personally. let’s…not find out if that’s still the case? at least not during our tea party.

  • Nix says:

    Oh my!!!! Such a lovely looking vegan treat!
    (The lighting in the photo is equally delicious.)


  • Goodness these muffins excite me. It all starts with the pear butter, certainly my fruit spread of choice, then hazelnut extract! and CHOCOLATE! and cherries! This could not be a more wonderful recipe, Celine.

  • Even for those of us who own kitchen scales, it’s a trauma to encounter something which is in cups / grams / ounces when our scale doesn’t really understand how to do the conversions for us. Thus, if I were to find a recipe in grams, I’d look elsewhere: my “cheap kitchen scale” only does American measures, thanks. Now, I suppose, having lived in the UK for 3 years now, I could find yet another “cheap kitchen scale” … but then I’d … have two kitchen scales.

    Yeah, OK. I see your point.

    Laziness has prevailed, though: I just keep on looking for recipes in the “right” measurement unit, whether it be cups or ounces.

    • Celine says:

      UK vs US kitchen scales: it’s on. and it will kick. your. ass.

      • Of course it will: neither one will convert a recipe from Cups to any measurement by weight! They’re … well, like trying to switch from the QWERTY keyboard: unrealistic, because everybody’s tooled up to use the thing!

        • Celine says:

          confession time? it took me until just a few days ago to realize what QWERTY is. yes. I am not proud.

          • Alas, not many people know. Coming to the UK has been quite an adventure, as I’ve never in my life encountered so many 2-fingered typists. I’d never even seen someone who doesn’t know how to type who’s managed to become a computer programmer. It’s quite frightening.

            • Celine says:

              dude, seeing my husband hunt and peck drives me bananas. he still manages to type super fast, but still. I always poke fun at him for it because seriously, what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t ridicule him, yeah?

  • Courtney says:

    Pear butter?!? YUM! Fall better hurry up and get here soon so I can make some of that :-) Apple butter, pear butter, pumpkin butter….oh 90 degree temps go away so fall can come!

    And, hmmm, you’ll take pear butter but not chestnuts?!? :-)


    • Celine says:

      mea culpa. mea chestnut-a. I’ll email you my address but you’ll let me return the favor in some way, yes?

      • Courtney says:

        You have returned the favor a million times over already by letting me test for your cookbook(s) ;-) Let me know if you really want the chestnuts–it truly is no problem!


        • Celine says:

          hey, I’m the one who’s thankful for you doing us the honor of being a tester, not the other way around. I’m emailing you in a flash with an idea.