Pear, Hazelnut & Chocolate Chip Muffins

Within the last two weeks, I’ve become obsessed with pears. For years, I thought that they were just an okay replacement for when you ran out of apples. I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the delicate flavour and inherent sweetness in pears and after we moved to Guyana, I lost interest in them completely.
Take a bite! The fruit will a-pear...
Take a bite! The fruit will a-pear…
Sometimes though – there’s a recipe that helps you rediscover an ingredient or look at it a whole new way. Oh hello pears! Didn’t see you there. Were you always that pretty?
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Now I’m obsessed with making pear and chocolate desserts. I still haven’t found the thought of wine poached pears too appealing, but I’m sure I’ll get there. I shall blame a large part of my obsession on this Pear, Hazelnut & Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe I discovered at Smitten Kitchen . The recipe was adapted from Megan Gordon, Author of the cookbook Whole Grain Mornings (which is on my wishlist if anyone is feeling generous). Once again, I was elated that I had all the ingredients and took my time preparing it on Sunday (lots of time to try a new recipe if this one failed). So much so that I lost track of time and ended up running back and forth to pour batter in the liners and put in the oven during the commercials of the premiere of Resurrection. First time I’ve actually not been thrilled about Daylight Savings Time making my shows earlier!
Anyway, all’s well that ends well since these muffins came out great and I’ve brought them to Fiesta Friday.
While I pretty much followed the ingredients exactly and thus linked directly to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe, I do have a few notes.
The before...
The before…
  1. I cannot for the life of me locate my box grater (do I even have one??) and settled for dicing the pears since the grater I had with smaller holes would have left me with pear juice (how great was Peardrax by the way? One of the few sodas I was allowed to drink when I was younger). I definitely think the grated pear would have been better though.
  2. I also ended up using 1 large pear.
  3. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts, yes. But make sure you have a lot of  hazelnut dust / smaller bits. They are magical when used as the topping.
  4. Chocolate makes everything better.
  5. I borrowed muffin pans from my mom and subsequently lost them (shh don’t tell her please!) so I borrowed her last one. Holding out hope that I’ll discover the pans soon. This recipe gave me 12 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins (which came in handy for emergencies – and yes, desserts do work for certain emergency situations)
  6. The oats, whole wheat flour, pears and nuts all make a convincing argument for breakfast consumption. The sugar (albeit brown) & white flour do not (you can substitute of course). Use your discretion since I’m living in a glass house at the moment. We may have had these for breakfast so I wont even be picking up a stone…
The after. Totally worth the guilt of forgetting to take more pictures...
The after. Totally worth the guilt of forgetting to take more prep pictures…

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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43 comments

  1. Pears and chocolate…wow….I have never thought about such a combination, but boy does it sound great! I have been on a muffin kick with all sorts of different combinations….I might have to try pear!

  2. Hi Indira, I don’t think I’ve ever baked anything with pears! These muffins look so scrumptious with their beautiful nutty toppings. I do recommend you try poached pears in wine sometime, they are very good–especially with waffles.

    • Thanks Ngan. I always appreciate toppings that aren’t icing. I think I will try poached pears soon as well. I think it sounds very fancy brunch-ish and I do love an opportunity to bust out that waffle maker!

  3. Okay, I’ll give pears another chance. Much prefer apples myself. I do have a pear tree, to appease the squirrels so they won’t take my tomatoes. I’ll fight them this year, so I can make lots of these muffins! 🙂

      • Not at all, those squirrels have their own plans, and they’re not afraid of me. And don’t get me started on the birds. You should read my blueberry post. I have 3 blueberry bushes and managed to harvest 14. Not pounds, just 14 singular blueberries!

  4. oh yum, I love pears too, they are in some ways the better apple, well not fair comment, but if you get a really nice ripe juicy pear it works beautifully in so many desserts, love them. I had a great poached pear the other day served with salted caramel sauce, vanilla icecream and a sablé, I have reconstructed it and will be posting later. oh and i poached my pears in water with vanilla and sugar, and used the left over juice to make a pear custard to go with the poached pears. It was rather nice, if I am allowed to blow my own trumpet….happy weekend

  5. Oh my goodness, Indira… I would love one of these right out of the oven. They look so delicious.. the perfect combination of ingredients… I think I’ll be eating one (or two, or ten) of these right out of the oven sometime this week… 🙂 Lovely post.

    • Thank you! Let me know how it works out if you try it. I find that the mini muffins were a lot more fun to eat than the large ones, but I must warn you – you’ll lose track of how many you eat and the pile of empty wrappers will make you think long and hard about your life LOL

  6. I’ve been obsessed with pears, and also saw that Smitten Kitchen recipe. Great minds think alike? 🙂
    Definitely making these muffins since yours look scrumptious!

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