the appetizer:

Pump up your baking skills with A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman, with recipes like Smash Apple Pie, Italian Hard Rolls, and Pralines-and-Cream Pecan-Caramel Muffins.



Pralines-and-Cream Pecan-Caramel Muffins

Makes 12 large muffins

Pralines-and-Cream Pecan-Caramel Muffins
Click to buy A Passion for Baking


These are totally amazing, decadent golden cakes of a butterscotch-caramel bent. A pecan-studded brown sugar batter features a ripple of caramel and a baked-in cheesecake topping that is crowned with a pecan crunch streusel.

Cutting corners? You can omit the Cream Cheese Topping and just go with the muffin batter topped with streusel.

Pecan Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butterscotch
         or caramel chips, optional
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Muffin Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup very finely chopped pecans
  • 12 squirts of butterscotch or caramel sundae topping, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange oven rack to middle position. Line a 12-cup large muffin pan with paper liners and generously spray liners with nonstick cooking spray. Place pan on a parchment paper—lined baking sheet.

For Pecan Streusel Topping, in a food processor, grind nuts, both sugars, and butterscotch chips, if desired, to make a fine meal. Add butter and pulse to blend. Put mixture into a mixing bowl. (This is a fine, gravelly streusel.)

Without cleaning food processor bowl, blend Cream Cheese Topping ingredients well and then spoon out into another bowl. For Muffin Batter, blend butter with both sugars in food processor until well blended; then add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add buttermilk, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nuts and blend well, making sure no unblended sugar or butter is stuck in bottom of bowl. Scoop some batter into each muffin cup, filling about half full. Squirt on some sundae topping. Spoon on some Cream Cheese Topping and then carefully add streusel.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes until muffins seem firm to the touch when gently pressed with fingertips. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

  • from:
  • A Passion for Baking
  • Bake to Celebrate, Bake to Nourish, Bake for Fun
  • by Marcy Goldman
  • Oxmoor House, 2007
  • $29.95; hardcover; 320 pages; 160 full-color photographs throughout
  • ISBN-10: 0848731794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8487-3179-3
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy A Passion for Baking


A Passion for Baking:
Bake to Celebrate, Bake to Nourish, Bake for Fun


This page created April 2008

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