Hello Monday! Happy to see you again, especially since Mondays have come to mean muffin filled mornings. Today I made an absolutely delicious muffin. I have to admit that when blogger Anuradha of Baker Street first emailed the Muffin Monday group this week’s recipe (Orange Date Muffins) I was a little hesitant since I am not a fan of dates. But a few substitutions and a handful of additions later and the orange date muffins with walnuts were transformed into a beautiful marriage of figs, pecans, orange and rosemary – a recipe that made my belly grumble with excitement.
These Fig and Pecan muffins are delicately sweet, texturally complicated and fragrant. The rosemary imparts a subtle woody and aromatic flavor. The pecans add a toasty crunch that is further enhanced by the soft seedy dried figs. I used whole wheat pancake mix rather that whole wheat flour which gave the muffins a light sponge cake quality. Topped with a honey mascarpone frosting, these muffins are the perfect way to start your week.
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Fig and Pecan Muffins with Orange and Rosemary
(adapted from From a Baker’s Kitchen: Techniques and Recipes for Professional Quality Baking in the Home Kitchen)
1 cup whole wheat pancake mix
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped dried Mission figs
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1 tsp orange zest
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a 12 hole muffin tin with liners or grease and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a measuring jar or medium bowl, beat together the orange juice, buttermilk, egg and melted butter.
Add egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Fold in the orange rind, dates and walnuts.
Evenly divide the mixture among the 12 muffins cups.
If you desire a topping then mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it on the top.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15 to20 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Makes 12 regular-sized muffins.
To frost the muffins: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone cheese and then beat in the honey and orange zest. Spread the frosting over the muffins.