Happy Monday! I’m particular happy this Monday as there are only 4 weeks of work left before the Christmas holidays!! Not that I’m counting down or anything. I’ve started to feel particularly Christmas-y as of this weekend…I even cracked out my festive jumper on Sunday. It was probably a step too far but I love it so much and it was Christmas present last year so there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to wear it in the new year.
I’ve also started to think about what gifts I’m going to make this year. Vanilla extract was on the list a while ago but I’m too late for that one. Last year I made jars of popcorn, granola and cookie/brownie mix. Possible gifts this year are jams and chutneys, bags of sweets or festive shortbread. For some reason I’m feeling particularly craft this year, so there might even be an attempt at making my own Christmas cards, but I’ll have to see about that one.
Aaanyway, that’s enough Christmas chat for now. Here, as promised, are some pear laden muffins! Pear, cranberry and some – delicious as a snack in their own right – walnuts. I was concerned that the fresh cranberries could be overly tart in the muffins so before adding the walnuts to the mix, they are roasted in cinnamon sugar which makes them super delicious.
The cranberry does give a bright, kick to the muffins but the sweet pear along with the subtle spice of the earthy walnuts perfectly counterbalances it. A generous sprinkling or sugar and some extra walnuts gives a lovely crunch and texture contrast too.
These muffins were a surprising hit with my workmates , but maybe that was just the free cake on a Friday morning. As one colleague suggested they would made a great breakfast over the festive period. They are quick to put together in the morning if you were up for it, or they could be wrapped and frozen after baking then defrosted overnight to be popped in the oven to reheat in the morning. (more…)