Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pecan Sour Cream Muffins

Today's weather is just glorious.  Spring comes a little early to Oregon because it's been warm and dry lately.  I don't complain much, rain or sun is fine with me, but it's actually nice to not to put on layer upon layer of clothing.  Although the rain will come towards the end of the week, I'm planning to enjoy this warmth as much as I can.

For my weekend baking--this has become my thing, bake only on the weekends--I made pecan sour cream muffins.  The recipe comes from Maida Heatter's book, Cake.  I borrowed it from the library and has started to read it back and forth, and I decided to try this for breakfast today.  There's a lot recipes to try from the book and hopefully I can make as many as I can and blog it.  Sometimes weekend baking is just too short of a time for me, but it's the only time I have during the week to bake.  My family loves it when I bake though, they always have snacks for lunch boxes and after dinner treats.

This muffin batch is easy to make and make wonderful moist and rich muffins.  Yes, they look a little plain but they taste pretty special to me!

Pecan Sour Cream Muffins

Yields 12 large muffins

1 1/3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
5 1/2 ounces (1 1/3 cups) toasted pecans broken into large pieces, plus 12 large toasted pecan halves

Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 400F.  Either butter 12 2 3/4-inch muffin tin or line them with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and set aside.

In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft.  Beat in the sugar to mix, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.  On low speed, add half of the sifted dry ingredients, then all of the sour cream, and then the remaining sifted dry ingredients.  Beat only until smoothly incorporated.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the 5 1/2 ounces of pecan pieces.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tins.  It is not necessary to smooth the tops; the muffins will do it themselves during baking.  Place a pecan half, flat side down, on each muffin; press them only slightly into the muffins.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the muffins spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.  During baking the muffins will rise with high, nicely rounded, golden-brown tops.

Remove from the pans immediately and place on a rack.  These may be served warm or cooled.

Source:  adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes

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