November officially marks the beginning of baking season in my apartment. Most of the year, I'll occasionally make cookies, pies, and muffins, but spend the majority of my time in the kitchen on savory bites like dumplings, noodles, stir-fries. But come mid-November, the baking kicks into high gear. (So does the pinning of baked good images on Pinterest.)
Mostly I'm testing out food gifts for family and friends or goodies I can contribute to the table for Thanksgiving or Christmas week. The past few years I've been delegated with making pies for Thanksgiving, but this year I'll also add some muffins to the mix for Thanksgiving morning. After all, you can't start preparing turkey, stuffing, gravy, and pies on an empty stomach.
This month I'm doing a post for BlogHer with Del Monte to come up with a holiday recipe inspired by Del Monte® products. So I'm using some Del Monte® Bartlett Pear Halves to make batches of cinnamon-scented muffins. (So fitting for fall, right?)
You can easily have a convenient garden in your pantry with Del Monte® canned fruits and vegetables. Almost all (90%) of their produce is grown in the U.S. The fruits and vegetables are picked and packed at the height of ripeness. And 95% of their canned fruit and vegetables (including tomatoes) are preservative-free. To prepare for a holiday season full of drinking and chocolate-eating, it's good to have a pantry stocked with fruit and vegetables within reach.
I used the Bartlett Pear Halves in 100% pear juice from concentrate. After draining the pears and chopping them up to 1-inch cubes, I just mixed the cubes into the prepared batter and put them into the oven to bake.
It was pretty easy to whip up a batch of these Cinnamon Pear Muffins just after rolling out of bed last weekend, while still in my pajamas, with just a fresh pot of coffee to get me going. It was a nice and relaxing way to wake up and bake, without needing to run out to the grocery store. The kitchen smelled like cinnamon and nutmeg all morning. This is a scenario I want to recreate on Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
What are your favorite fruit and vegetables to stock in your pantry? Answer in the comments below and you could win a $100 Crate and Barrel gift card!
Cinnamon Pear Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling on top of the muffins
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top of the muffins
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1 15-ounce can Del Monte® Pears Halves in 100% Pear Juice from Concentrate, drained and diced
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a mixer or separate mixing bowl, cream the butter with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add half the flour mixture and half of the soy milk and continue mixing. Add the remainder of the flour mixture and soy milk and mix just until the batter is smooth.
- After draining the pears and chopping them up to 1-inch cubes, mix the cubes into the prepared batter.
- Line a muffin tray with muffin cups and butter to top of the pan. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (they should fill up to the top of the cups.) Sprinkle extra sugar and cinnamon on top of each muffin. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Carefully transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to cool, then enjoy!
Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b:Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c: Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d: For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 11/18/2013-12/18/2013
Be sure to visit the Del Monte® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers reviews and find more chances to win!