Think of all the foods you can find in miniature. Candy bars, you know, 'fun' size bars. Hamburgers, shrink them down and call them sliders. Reese's peanut butter cups in tiny, baby form. Lasagna cupcakes and soup served in shot glasses. And desserts...lots of desserts. I think it makes them more palatable, and not just in taste. Eat a mini fruit tart and have all the indulgence with a quarter of the guilt.
Back in May, I baked mini cupcakes for a baby shower. A couple of weeks ago I made mini scones, and last night just shy of midnight, I found myself in the kitchen with an itch to bake. Earlier that morning I made pear sauce from an Asian pear I had in the fruit bowl, and while I would have been just as happy eating it as is, I thought using it as part of something else would be even better.
If you still get your Sunday paper, chances are you also get the Parade magazine. In the 7 October issue, they featured a basic muffin recipe that looked like a good place to start for what I wanted to make. They also give you a load of suggestions for add-ins. Originally, I was going to make regular sized muffins until I remembered that I bought little condiment cups and had a mini muffin pan that had to be christened on a first use. And so came the Asian pear almond mini muffins. There is one problem with making baked goods in mini form though. It's difficult to eat just one.
Asian Pear Almond Mini Muffins
Adapted from the Basic Breakfast Muffins recipe from Parade
(Makes 24-28 mini or 12 regular muffins)
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup Asian pear sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing well to beat out any lumps. Add the pear sauce and mix to combine. Finally, add the almonds and mix to incorporate.
Line a muffin tin with liners or grease the pan with butter. Fill each spot about 2/3 full of batter. If you're making mini muffins, bake for 15-16 minutes; 18-20 minutes for regular sized.
Note: To make the pear sauce, slice and cube a large Asian pear. Add the pear, with 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and with a potato masher, smash the fruit, and allow the sauce to thicken. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to it, cinnamon would also be good.
|Yes, the bottoms got a little too done. That's what can happen with a new pan and a minute too long!|