Random self Q & A:
- What’s your favorite pie? Pecan.
- What’s your favorite nut? Pecan.
- What’s your favorite tree? Pecan.
- What’s your favorite wood? Pecan.
- What’s your favorite childhood memory? Playing under the old pecan tree with my cousins.
- What’s your favorite smell? Pecan leaves in the Fall.
- What’s your favorite baking ingredient? Vanilla sugar.
Ha! I bet you thought I was going to say pecans on that last question. Silly you. Why would you think that?
Whether it was the pecans, themselves, or the trees from which they grew, pecans have been a standard in my life from my earliest memories. Right now, I am looking for a pecan wood cutting board. I want it as reminder of sweet memories in my life and as an heirloom for…you know…later.
Actually, I have been looking on line for pecan wood cutting boards and have found some very pretty ones. Truth be told, I don’t know if I would have the nerve to ever use it for cutting anything. I am very fond of wood and have a tough time convincing myself to cut anything on even the cheapest and most replaceable of my wooden cutting boards. I bought a bread board made of cherry last year at the farmer’s market and it still looks just as pristine as the day I bought it. Go figure.
Question: Is the cost of a $240.00 cutting board justified by only using the board to chop nuts? What about chopping nuts and using the board as a background in food photos? What about if I use it as a work of art? You know, display it in a grouping or something. I have a birthday and Christmas coming up in the next few months. Perhaps the cutting board would be a good combined gift. Oh wait–I almost forgot. We’re getting new doors for the front and back of the house. Forget I ever said anything about a dumb cutting board. Doors are crazy expensive!
I really like the various elements in these Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins. The name tells you a lot about the muffins, but not everything. For instance, I used dark brown sugar to complement the richness of the toasted pecans. There is also more cinnamon and vanilla extract than is generally found in muffins. The streusel is a nice finishing touch on this type of muffin particularly.
The only cautions I would like to give you in regards to these muffins, is to not overdo browning the butter, toasting the pecans, or stirring the wet batter. Burned butter and pecans speak for themselves. Stirring the batter too much will develop too much gluten, which in turn makes a tough, chewy muffin. Additionally, over-working the batter can cause tunneling in the muffins. You don’t want tunnels in your muffins, do you?
When you make these Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Muffins, your house is going to smell like Fall. If you’re not ready for it to be Fall yet, then wait a few weeks to make the muffins. Although there are a couple of extra steps, browning the butter and toasting the pecans, you will be richly rewarded for your efforts. The muffins are great anytime, but would an especially terrific addition to the breakfast table.