Apple Pecan Muffins

Apple Pecan Muffins

Apple Pecan Muffins set in a row on a wooden serving dish with a background of green apples.

Apple Pecan Muffins

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There is definitely a chill settling in, making it the best time to bake up warm Apple Pecan Muffins. These lovely, tender muffins are packed with apple and warm fall spices, making them perfect with your morning tea or coffee.

Apple Pecan Muffins scooped in tins and ready for baking.

It’s the grated apple in this recipe that makes them tender and delicious. Shredding the apple allows for even distribution throughout the batter better than chunks and creates a moist and tender muffin. These muffins are also nicely plumped and studded with pecans. There is enough batter to fill the muffin tins very full, so don’t be skimpy. You’ll want to add about a third of a cup of batter to each muffin tin. You can use paper liners or scoop the batter into a generously buttered pan. But know that if using paper liners, you must let the muffins cool completely before removing the liner or the muffin will stick to it. Buttered tins work just as well, and you’ll be able to eat them slightly warm out of the pan.

A close up of Apple Pecan Muffins served on a striped napkin with a background of green apples.

You’ll want to try these muffins with my Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter for a real treat. It’s a great combination and a blast of fall spice to help keep the chill away. Enjoy!

Want more muffins?

Whole Wheat Peach Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Seed and Nut Muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

 

A close up of Apple Pecan Muffins served on a striped napkin with a background of green apples.
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Apple Pecan Muffins

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled and grated about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans Optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and set oven rack to the middle position.
  • Generously butter 12 non-stick muffin tins or line with paper liners.
  • In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
  • Melt butter and cream together with both sugars. Whisk in eggs one at a time until incorporated and light in texture. Stir in vanilla.
  • Add 1/3 of the milk and then 1/3 of the flour mixture whisking to combine. Repeat, alternating the milk and flour. Stir in grated apples and chopped pecans.
  • Scoop the batter evenly between the prepared muffin tins using approximately 1/3 cup of batter for each. The tins will be quite full.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400°F and then reduce the temperature to 350°F for an additional 8-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Notes

-muffins baked with paper liners need to cool completely before trying to peel off the paper and prevent them from sticking to the paper.
-the chopped pecans are optional.

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Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

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My inspiration for today’s sweet and spicy honey butter comes from my recent 50th birthday celebration. Not only did I get to spend it with some very special people, but I also got to enjoy cake and a few gifts. As a food blogger, nothing says happy birthday more than a foodie gift, right? One of the birthday gifts received was a trio of flavoured gourmet honey. One of them being maple honey, which was fantastic mixed with butter and melted over steamed carrots. Another was pumpkin spice honey which I cheerfully mixed with butter and spread onto a toasted bagel. It was ohhhh so good!

Butter, honey and spices arranged on a wooden board in preparation for Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter.

So in the fashion of sharing, I mixed warm fall spices with honey and butter so you can enjoy Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter without having to worry about finding and buying specialty honey. It’s super easy to make at home and wonderful on baked goods like zucchini bread, muffins, bagels/toast, pancakes and French toast. All I can say now is thank goodness for turning 50, thoughtful people and foodie gifts. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter spread on zucchini bread and arranged on a wooden board with extra butter.
Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter served in a small stainless steel dish and arranged with pine cones.

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Pumpkin Spice Honey Butter

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until smooth.

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Jan Hagel Cookies

Jan Hagel Cookies

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.

Jan Hagel Cookies

(Dutch Almond Shortbread)

 

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Who can say 2020 was a wonderful year?  I am thankful and happy to report that I can! What makes my year something special is searching for and finding my biological father. My year started with spitting into a test tube through Ancestry.  I’m excited to say the DNA test result matches were more than I expected.  Although they were not a direct match with my biological father, they were a 100% match with three of his close family members. One message sent to my matches got the ball quickly rolling, and within two weeks I had my first contact with my biological father. His name is Bernie, and imagine his surprise, not knowing that I existed until now. How someone digests such a thing I cannot say, but what I found was a very welcoming, warm and sincere man who was “pleasantly surprised” to learn of me. What I also quickly learned was that Bernie is very much a family man with a family of four children. How cool, now I have more siblings!  Wait, not quite… not only was Bernie the man being searched for by an adopted child but also one who has adopted his own four children and over time has assisted them in finding some of their biological roots. So I have to say half-siblings in spirit but not biologically. But the interesting twists in my story don’t end here.  I was adopted by a family who live in the same small town as my biological family.  I went to the same high school his children did, shopped at the same stores and practically grew up right under his nose. Ooooh how small the world just became!

I have since had the pleasure to meet Bernie, his lovely wife Joan, most of his children, two aunts, and cousins. I also have a biological grandmother still gracing the earth at 92 years old, but sadly with our pandemic world I have not been able to meet her yet.  It’s truly hard to find the words to describe what an experience it all has been and continues to be, but I do know that time spent with Bernie and his family is very much a gift and I look forward to our continuing story.

A sheet pan of freshly baked Jan Hagel Cookies resting on a wire rack.

Now, on to the Dutch Jan Hagel cookies, also known as Dutch almond shortbread. As you’ve probably guessed I have learned that I am Dutch on my father’s side. My biological grandparents immigrated to Canada from Holland in 1949 on the vessel RMS Seythia. They settled in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada to farm and raise a family of seven children. I’ve been dabbling in several different Dutch recipes but these cookies are my favourite so far. Jan Hagel Cookies are crisp, buttery and very addictive. They are a traditional Dutch cookie often made at Christmas and will become part of my holiday baking line-up from now on. I’m excited to continue to experiment in Dutch cookery and hope to share more recipes as time goes. Till then, enjoy!

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.

Author Compelled to Cook, adapted from Jan Hagel Koekjes.

A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.
Jan Hagel Cookies
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    20-22 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    20-22 minutes
    A box of crisp and buttery Jan Hagel Cookies wrapped with a navy blue ribbon.
    Jan Hagel Cookies
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      20-22 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      1 10"x15" tray 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      20-22 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: 10"x15" tray
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set oven rack to the middle position. Lightly butter a 10"x15" baking tray, set aside.
      2. Cream together butter and granulated sugar. Divide the egg and add the egg yolk, cinnamon, salt and almond extract. Beat to fully combine. Add flour and mix only until dough starts to come together.
      3. Press or roll dough evenly into prepared pan. Whisk egg white with 1 tbsp water. Brush evenly onto prepared dough. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Just enough to create a nice sparkle.
      4. Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 3-5 minutes and then cut into squares or diamonds while the cookie is warm and soft. Once cut, allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
      Recipe Notes

      -coarse sugar is a larger crystal sugar that doesn't melt when baked so it keeps a sparkle on the goods it's sprinkled on. It may also be called pearl sugar, decorators sugar, sparkling sugar.

      -I get about 45 - 2" diamond shaped cookies, plus the best and crispiest half diamonds around the edges.

      -I've tried sliced almonds with and without the skin and both are good to use and is a matter of preference.

      -I find it just as easy to cut the squares instead of just scoring them while they are warm, but if you're having difficulty just score them and cut when cool.

      -cookies are best if eaten while fresh, however they will last in a sealed container at room temperature for several days. If freezing, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container away from strong odours.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Apple Galette with Almond Pastry

      Apple Galette with Almond Pastry

      Freshly baked Apple Galette with Almond Pastry sitting on a wooden board with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the centre.

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      Galettes are easy to love with their flaky, rustic pastry and sweet or savoury fillings. Apple Galette with Almond Pastry comes together easily and tastes just as delicious as apple pie. It’s the perfect ending to your entertaining occasions, but particularly Thanksgiving when apple desserts are sought after.

      A basket full of green apples in preparation for Apple Galette with Almond Pastry.

      What is a galette anyway? A galette is a free form tart that can be made with sweet fillings such as berries and apples or savoury fillings like chicken and mushrooms. They’re unique in the way the pastry is shaped around the filling into a rustic form without the use of a pie dish. This eliminates the need for a top crust and fussy crimping, yet the filling stays snuggly in place.

      An assembled Apple Galette with Almond Pastry on parchment paper ready for the oven.

      What makes a good galette? Like a traditional pie, a lot depends on the pastry and this means using cold butter that is cut into the dry ingredients until crumbly and the butter bits are no bigger than the size of a pea. It’s also very, very important to use ice-cold water. This helps keep everything just a little bit colder, especially the butter which tends to soften as you work with it. Keeping everything as cold as possible helps the butter hold its size, which will create flaky layers when it melts during baking. There’s no need to overfill a galette, it’s meant to be flatter than a pie. So resist the urge to pile your filling sky high because the filling needs to cook at the same time as the pastry.

      Apple Galette with Almond Pastry
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        8 slices 50-60 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        40 minutes 1+ hours
        Servings Prep Time
        8 slices 50-60 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        40 minutes 1+ hours
        Apple Galette with Almond Pastry
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          8 slices 50-60 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          40 minutes 1+ hours
          Servings Prep Time
          8 slices 50-60 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          40 minutes 1+ hours
          Ingredients
          Pastry
          Filling
          Servings: slices
          Instructions
          Pastry
          1. In a large bowl combine flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or a knife until the flour is crumbly with small bits of butter.
          2. Drizzle water and vinegar over flour mixture and toss with a fork until dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and work gently to bring everything together and the dough has smoothed out.
          3. Roll dough into a ball and then flatten into an approximate 6" disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
          Apple Filling
          1. Peel and core apples and then cut them into thin slices. Drizzle slices with the lemon juice as you slice to prevent oxidization.
          2. To the apples add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss to combine.
          3. In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk.
          4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
          5. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to an approximate 13" circle adding a sprinkle of flour to the top and bottom as you go to prevent it sticking.
          6. Trim dough to a neat 12" circle by using a plate or pie plate as a guide (see note). Roll dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to a large parchment-lined baking tray.
          7. Pile filling in the centre and spread out towards the edge leaving a 1 1/2" border of plain dough.
          8. Fold the dough edge up and over the filling, crimping slightly as you go around. Sprinkle the apples with dots of butter. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden and apples are tender.
          9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving with ice cream.
          Recipe Notes

          -The pastry does not have to be a perfect circle. If you'd like a nice rustic look you can leave it as you roll it as long as it is an approximate 12"-13" in diameter and 1/8" thick.

          -If you like a neater look you can also arrange the apple slices in a concentric circle.  I'm partial to piling the apples in as they fall.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Spiced Coconut Loaf

          Spiced Coconut Loaf

          I can’t speak for everyone but quick breads were some of the very first things I ever baked. My earliest memory of this included making blueberry muffins from a mix. Even the blueberries were included in a small tin. Next came a lemon pudding cake, also from a mix but fondly remembered as we often had it when my grandma was visiting. Even though these first memories are baked goods from a mix, they were still the beginning of tasty things to come, like this amazing Spiced Coconut Loaf.

          This wonderful loaf is a coconut lover’s dream! It’s tender with a bit of chewiness from the coconut, lightly spiced and topped with a coconut glaze and toasted coconut. It’s one of my favourites!

          What is a quick bread?

          Quick bread is a very broad term given to any bread that is not leavened with yeast but rather other leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda. This would include baked items such as cornbread, muffins, soda bread, etc.

          They’re generally quick to prepare, require little mixing and can be baked right away. This makes quick breads easy, convenient and versatile. The varieties are endless really and they are such a great way to learn and have fun with baking.

          Want more wonderful quick bread recipes?

          Banana Bread

          Chorizo Cheddar Bread

          Chocolate Cherry Loaf

          Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted slightly from Bon Appetit Spiced Coconut Loaf Cake

          Whole baked Spiced Coconut Loaf drizzled with glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut that rests on a wire rack draped with a red checkered towel that is scattered with strawberries.
          Spiced Coconut Loaf
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            1 loaf 30-35 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            4-45 minutes 10 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            1 loaf 30-35 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            4-45 minutes 10 minutes
            Whole baked Spiced Coconut Loaf drizzled with glaze and sprinkled with toasted coconut that rests on a wire rack draped with a red checkered towel that is scattered with strawberries.
            Spiced Coconut Loaf
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              1 loaf 30-35 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              4-45 minutes 10 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              1 loaf 30-35 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              4-45 minutes 10 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: loaf
              Instructions
              Loaf
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉, spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment, allowing the ends to overhang the loaf pan slightly.
              2. In a small bowl whisk together first 6 dry ingredients. Set aside.
              3. In a small bowl whisk together coconut cream and sour cream. Set aside.
              4. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddled attachment or electric mixer beat brown sugar and butter together until smooth and light. Beat in one egg at a time until incorporated.
              5. Beat in a third of the dry ingredients, and then a half of the wet ingredients, alternating thirds of the dry and half of the wet until just combined (do not overmix). Stir in coconut.
              6. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
              7. Cool for 5-10 minutes and then lift out of pan using the overhanging parchment. Peel off parchment and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
              Glaze
              1. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and coconut cream until smooth. Toast almonds in a 350℉ oven for 10-12 minutes.
              2. Drizzle glaze over loaf and garnish with toasted coconut.
              Recipe Notes

              -If you cannot find coconut cream, you can use full fat coconut milk by chilling the coconut milk to solidify the solids and pouring off a 1/4 of the liquid prior to mixing together. This will make it thicker and creamier. The coconut milk I usually buy is seperated at room temperature so no chilling is required.

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              Affiliate Disclosure

              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com