To be honest, these Buttered Pecan Muffins came into existence by complete accident.
What I’d really meant to bake that day were cupcakes. Fluffy, light and airy cupcakes. I’d even written down the recipe and everything! But when I finally got around to actually making them, I realized that I was missing half the ingredients.
DO’H! Way to go, me! Plan on making a recipe for the blog, put it on the agenda and all, but don’t even bother to make sure that I have all the ingredients I need on hand.
Thank goodness, at least I hadn’t committed to anyone or anything…
I could’ve simply put the whole thing off, but I really had my heart set on baking that day, so I was going to bake! Bah! All I had to do was improvise.
I started switching some of the ingredients around, scratching those that I didn’t have, replacing them with stuff that I knew I had in my cupboards.
Frankly, I must say that I’m EXTREMELY happy with the way these muffins turned out and I’m almost happy I messed up that day.
Funny thing is, a few weeks prior, I’d been thinking just how much I missed sinking my teeth into a super dense, sweet and chewy Date & Bran Muffin. Oh yeah, they used to be my favorites. Big time!
Let me tell ya, I just found the ultimate replacement. These babies here have EXACTLY the same combination of taste and texture that I used to dig so much about bran muffins. I’d even say that they taste better. MUCH better! So hey… who needs bran, really?
If you’re gonna whip up a batch for yourself, start by making the crumble; that way it gets to cool and harden while you work on the muffin batter.
Melt the ghee and honey in a small saucepan or skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
When it starts to bubble vigorously and turns a light amber color, add the chopped pecans and cook until they take on a nice golden caramel color and start to smell heavenly good, which should take no more than 1 or 2 minutes.
Remove your caramelized nuts to a plate and sprinkle them with fleur de sel. Now let’s set that aside to cool and get busy working on that batter.
In a large mixing bowl, mix almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt until fully incorporated.
While sifting is not mandatory, I strongly recommend it. It’s the best way to make sure all the lumps get broken down (coconut flour is especially lumpy) and any potential larger pieces or unwanted debris get caught. Ever had a tie wrap magically appear in the middle of one of your guests’ piece of cake? I have…
In the bowl of your food processor, add pecans, ghee and raw honey
Process until all the ingredients are well combined and turn into a paste that has some kind of a play-dough-like consistency.
Add the eggs, one at a time, processing until each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
Your play-dough will soon turn into this silky smooth, velvety and intoxicatingly fragrant mixture. Resist the urge to sit yourself down with this bowl and eat the whole thing by the spoonful.
Instead, what you want to do now is add the coconut milk and vanilla seeds and resume processing until all is well incorporated.
Now pour this heavenly concoction over the reserved flour mixture…
…and mix delicately with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined, without over-mixing the batter.
See how nice and thick yet airy that is?
Again, no eating the content of this bowl by the spoonful… This batter still has to bake. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did!
Divide the batter evenly between prepared muffin cups, then break the cooled and hardened crumble down with your fingers and sprinkle it all over your muffins.
Bake in a 375F oven for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Or better yet, until one of the muffins volunteers to be broken in half to test if it and the rest of the bunch are good and cooked all the way through.
Of course, seeing as how the poor thing is now torn apart and unsuitable for sharing with friends and / or family members, you might as well jump on the occasion and do a taste test.
Hey, you only get one chance at fresh-out-of-the-oven-taste-testing; you wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity, now, would you
See what I mean by perfect texture? Oh maaaan, I wish you all could taste these by simply grabbing a bite right off the screen!
Oh, and that crumble on top? My, oh my! Pure dope, I tell you.
Honestly, as far as muffins go, this is one of the best I’ve eaten in my entire life and trust me, I’ve eaten more than my fair share of them!
I almost kinda wish I hadn’t come up with this recipe because no matter how much I used to love muffins, my brains had finally sort of come to terms with the fact that they were off our regular diet for good.
Well… Not anymore, they’re not! (just don’t tell my brains, I don’t think that they’ve quite realized yet…)