Once again, we’re in the 10 or so day stretch before a glut of final exams, which means that things are simultaneously revving up, but also getting strangely quiet at school. We’re finally reaching the last units of new material in Finance, Accounting and Econ, but we’re also having to relearn EVERYTHING since the beginning of time–at least I am.
Though I’d like nothing more than to spend an entire week fooling around in the kitchen, writing a few chapters of a novel (or really anything that’s not my marketing project) holed up in a coffee shop, or any of the myriad distractions I’ve come up with, it’s just 10 more days of intense studying, which brings me to my real question (no, I did not come here just to complain): how do you feel about pep talks? Do you like receiving them from your significant other? More often than not, I’m on the receiving end of Erik’s pep talks rolling my eyes and putting on my grumpy face like the ungrateful student I am.
These muffins! They’re glorious. A few weeks back, I had a very specific craving for a muffin with a grainy crumb and a crisp crust. Not a super-silky cake-like muffin (as per my usual cravings), but something kind of hearty. And filled with pear, since I had a sack of pears ripening away in my fridge.
In an unsurprising turn of events, adapting this recipe from Izy’s gorgificent website (have you read her gorgeous cookbook? I MEAN.) yielded exactly what I’d been craving. A slightly open, but still dense crumb, coarse with almonds, beautifully crisp edges and the cutest puffed tops that billowed up around the sliced pear. I was in the mood for something delicate when I made these, so I think they should technically be called muffin tops, since they’re about half the size of normal muffins. I hate that phrase to the point where I think it should be nixed from the English language, but it’s just so appropriate to describe these. If you come up with another name, let me know.
No matter what you call these, this pear-almond-honey combination is just happiness, and this recipe is a perfect small-batch recipe for solo snacking throughout the week. Now please tell me all about what you’ve been eating lately!
Note: I did try making these without wheat flour, but this particular recipe needs just a bit of gluten for structure, so I wouldn’t recommend substituting the small amount of all-purpose flour for a non-gluten flour. For a vegan version, use maple syrup instead of honey, or use additional sugar instead.
Almond-Pear Muffin Tops
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 small pear for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 6-cup muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, coconut oil, water and honey.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Thinly slice a wedge of pear lengthwise, then width-wise into 1-inch sections. Create a fan shape with about 5-6 slices and press into each of the tops of muffin batter. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until puffed with bronzed tops. Let cool for several minutes before removing from pan.
Totally in love with the fourth pic… Have been stumbling upon it on Pinterest, and just can’t get it out of my head. Lovely recipe as well!
Hope you have a wonderful Easter time,
Oh, thank you so much Sini! That means SO much coming from you!! Hope you had a wonderful Easter too and I hope your gorgeous blog comes back online soon!!! <333
You were studying for Finance, Accounting & Econ AND making these wonderful muffins!!!!!
What are you? Flash?
Love your photos, Erika 🙂
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
Erika, oh my gawd, girl. . just saw these on pinterest and had to click. These are gorgeous!!! pep talks, depends on my mood. . which is probably why the pep talk is needed in the first place. . and I have been eating way too many sweets .. I blame it on the blog .. but the chocolate merlot cake I had was worth it. so worth it. need to hit the treadmill and do a juice cleanse like ASAP next year. haha. . happy holidays!!
Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land
wow wow these are so pretty … when i read muffin top my mind went immediately to a ladies spare tire around her middle – hehe! these sound so good too – almond, pear – and the photos are making me feel so dreamy and nostalgic for a perfect, quiet day of baking with the sun beaming in and some soothing music playing lightly in the background … good luck with your exams, lady! xo (PS i’ve been eating completely randomly as per usual .. my latest craving is bacon … I never ever eat it so it’s been very delightful frying some up!)
Haha Lyndsay that is EXACTLY where my mind goes too!! Makes me feel a little guilty about eating them :/ but luckily they’re small! 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words–that lovely scene you conjured up is so much more picturesque than my actual apartment–I love it! <3 And nothing like a good indulgence like BACON!
Nora (A Clean Bake)
Hot damn, how did I miss these!? You know that since you said they need gluten, I interpret that as a challenge and I’m going to figure out how to make these gluten-free!
Woowoo! I’d love to see a gluten-free version! If anyone can figure it out, it’s you 😉 (Brandi suggested subbing tapioca flour for the wheat flour, which I will definitely try…once I buy some tapioca flour. Anyway, might be a first step for ya :))
Nora (A Clean Bake)
Ooh good tip! Usually I don’t use tapioca starch because it gets gummy if you use too much, but this little amount will probably work well!
These pear muffin tops are just delicious looking and gorgeous. They’re like small tea cakes! May be making this tonight! 😉
Cristina, you’re a GENIUS. I like “tea cakes” SO MUCH MORE than muffin tops. I thiiink you may have just inspired a name change! Thanks a million and hope you love these if you try them!! <3
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
Oh man – 10 days left! (Or rather 7 at this point) – you’re in the home stretch (Does this count as a pep talk?). These muffins look like just the thing to get you through the week. (Please send some here – I need study snack too;)
PS. writing a novel?!?! What are you writing??
Good luck with your tests! Izzy’s book and blog are absolutely gorgeous and you’ve done an equally wonderful job with these muffins. They are too pretty to eat 🙂
Those muffins look glorious!
You’re so sweet! Thank you!! <333
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
Wow these are absolutely beautiful!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
Good luck, Erika! Exam season is the absolute worst, especially right before Christmas when all you want to do is have fun ‘n eat ‘n be merry but you gotta study, aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh. And I happen to hate pep talks. When I’m in a crappy mood, I just want to luxuriate in my misery. It would help an awful lot if I had a batch of these glorious muffin tops (I hate that term too! But I can’t think of anything better!). I love the pear and the texture sounds perfect. I can’t wait until you’re finished your exams and you can concentrate on celebrating the holidays!
The Vegan 8
These are beautiful Erika! Super pretty! I don’t like pears, but I’m sure apples would work too! I love the simple recipe you found as well, I LOVE simple and I bet you that replacing the wheat flour with 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch would work (it binds really well). I use a combo of oat flour, almond flour and tapioca all the time in my gluten-free baking, so I know it would work 😉 In fact, I’m super tempted to try this! So gorgeous girl! Hope you are doing well….long time no talk! Good luck with school and everything. xo
Oooh Brandi that sounds awesome!! I really need to go stock up on some tapioca flour, stat. Thanks for the tip, you fabulous lady!! I know, WAY too long, no talk :'( School has been kicking my butt but I’m hoping to get in a better blogging routine next semester. Rest assured, I’ve been drooling over your AMAZING creations from afar (when I have time)!!
These are just too cute! I love the idea of little muffin tops (and no, I can’t think of a better name!) and the pear/almond combo is just so good. Best of luck for your finals!
These are so yummy-looking girl! I don’t like the “muffin top” phrase either but who cares what these are called — they must be made and eaten! GOOD LUCK in your next few intense study days! I believe in you 🙂
Oh my gosh these are just too precious / beautiful. And the photos and that light are so dreamy!!! I’m in love with ALL of this. Good luck with finals, lady!!!! You can do it <3!
Kim @ AdventuresInANewishCity
Mmm, I’m not a huge muffin fan, but these look like some muffin tops (*wince* i agree about the name!) I could really get into. And gosh, the design of the pears on top is pure artwork Erika!
Also I have a confession to make: I am the queen of pep talks. I am completely 100% annoying, and I annoy myself, but I am basically hiding around every corner, pom poms in my back pocket, ready to pep any looming gloomster up. So good luck with finals! You’ll do great! Don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon! Okay I’ll stop now!
These are gorgeous! And I love pear & almond together…thanks for sharing 🙂
I get those kinds of specific cravings all the time and you just have to go with it. These look awesome and I think muffin top is the perfect name for them!
Yum these look (and sound) amazing!!!!
I am stuck hard and fast in the midst of a gingerbread, banana, choc chip (paleo) mini muffin obsession!!!
Good luck with your finals xo
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
I hope I don’t sound crazy, but I like these muffin tops since they look like actual muffin tops!! And I love that flavour!