With chillier mornings and the Thanksgiving holiday almost upon us, it’s definitely time to start cooking and baking with fall spices. Ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon evoke those fall feelings in all of us. Who doesn’t want to throw on a sweater and have some fall pear muffins with tea!

The thing that’s best about these muffins is that they are the perfect balance between sweet and cupcake sweet. The pears really temper the brown sugar, making them taste more like an indulgence than they actually are. Switching out half of the regular flour for whole wheat flour also helps with this. And finally, pears are probably something that you don’t use all that much, so they make these seem extra-special for the fall season.

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Spiced Pear Muffins
Should make about 12 muffins

2 medium sized pears, unpeeled and diced small
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
And you can spice it up with all or any of the following:
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Extra cinnamon and sugar, for sprinkling on top

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Instructions

Use a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray, muffin liners, or butter to keep muffins from sticking.

Heat your oven to 425°F.

Cream together the sugars and the softened butter until they resemble fluffy frosting. Mix in the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract. I would use a standard mixer, but a hand mixer would work as well.

Now the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, spices, and salt.

Then put a third of the butter/sugar mixture into the flour mixture, along with one-third of the milk. Continue adding the the other two-thirds alternating between flour and milk. Try not to overmix. Leftover flour on the bowl is fine.

Now it’s time to add the pears. Just mix them in like you would berries into pancakes. Just folding over, but not mushing.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. The batter will fill the cups and mound slightly on top. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar.

Mix in any of the optional ingredients now.

Now divide the batter into the muffin tin.

Here’s the trick. Turn the heat down before putting muffins in the oven to 400°F. These will go for about 25 minutes, depending on your oven. You’ll know when they are done because the tops will crack and the muffins will look amazing, brown and yummy.

You can use a toothpick too; just to triple check the batter doesn’t stick when removed from the middle of the muffin.

That’s it! You’ll still have to get your famous spiced-latte from that coffee shop, but these will really satisfy for breakfast or an afternoon snack!

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

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