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You shouldn’t trust me when I say this (I’m prone to enthusiastic proclamations), but these are my favorite muffins in the world.  At least right here, right now.  It’s fall as I’m writing these words, we’ve just picked the butternut from our garden, and, with these muffins in the oven, the house smells so amazing I can’t imagine ever leaving.  Their texture is so moist, tender and surprisingly light (they stay moist for several days after baking).  And the nutty crunch of pecan is the perfect foil to their gentle sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2small (2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups of chunks)
  • 1/3cup brown sugar
  • 3/4cup toasted pecan pieces, divided use
  • 2tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2teaspoons vanilla, preferably Mexican
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2cups cake flour
  • 3/4cup granulated sugar
  • 1teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 5ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

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