Coffee-Praline Muffins

Recipe adaptation contributed by Cecilia Kiker; photo contributed by Grace Kosner Yield:  16 large muffins
Prep Time:  20 minutes Cook Time:  25 minutes

Coffee-Praline Muffins

Wake up your morning with a coffee muffin topped with the sweetness of homemade pralines. What a way to start a day!

Ingredients

2 cups (176 grams) coconut flakes

1 cup (192 grams) chopped pecans

1¼ cups (275 grams) brown sugar, divided

8 ounces (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

5 ounces sour cream

4 tablespoons instant espresso powder

¾ cup milk

2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Make the toasted coconut flakes and pecans: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two baking sheets.
  2. Place the coconut flakes on a baking sheet and spread them out evenly. Place half of pecans on the second baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake both; bake the coconut for 8 to 10 minutes and the pecans for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid burning.
  3. Remove from the oven when the coconut flakes are lightly browned and the pecans give off a toasted aroma. Set aside, keeping the oven set at 350°F.
  4. Make the muffins: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 1 cup of the brown sugar and the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate between each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and mix to combine.
  5. Stir the espresso powder in the milk until it dissolves.
  6. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the coffee mixture to the egg and butter mixture in the stand mixer bowl and and mix at low speed, just to combine. Add the remaining coffee, and flour mixture, and the cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Fold in the toasted coconut flakes and all of the toasted pecans.
  8. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with large tulip-shaped paper liners—these allow you to fill the muffin cups with more batter. Pour the batter into the muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup to the rim, but don’t let the batter flow over that level because the tulip cups won’t keep them from leaking if you go any bigger. Sprinkle each muffin with equal amounts of the un-toasted pecans and the remaining brown sugar. Bake for 27 to 29 minutes at 350°F.
  9. Make the pralines: While the muffins are baking, heat the brown sugar in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until partially melted. (Be careful that it does not splatter, as hot sugar can cause a nasty burn.) Add the pecans to the saucepan, and stir constantly for about 4 minutes, or until all the sugar is melted. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
  10. Spread out the mixture onto a Silpat mat or a sheet of wax paper, and let cool. As the pralines are cooling, sprinkle them with cinnamon. When the muffins are done and the pralines are cool enough to handle, break the pralines into chunks and top each cooled muffin with some of the pieces.

Kitchen Tips

  1. To make 24 regular size muffins, line the muffin tins with paper liners and fill each cup ½ to ⅔ full. Bake them at  350°F for 20 to 22 minutes.
  2. The recipes that inspired this adaption can be found here, here, and here.

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