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Pecan Cornmeal Muffins

The buttery aroma and delightful crunch of toasted pecans adds an unusual twist to these cornmeal-based muffins. Sweet and savory, the treats are drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with brown sugar before baking.

Pecan Cornmeal Muffins
Makes 10

1/2 cup pecan halves, plus 10 for garnish
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar, plus more for tops
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 cup plain yogurt, room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for tops
Vegetable cooking spray, for muffin tins

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 1/2 cup pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool briefly, then coarsely chop and set aside. Place muffin tins in oven to heat for 10 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cornmeal and reserved chopped pecans. In a second bowl, combine egg, milk, yogurt, and butter. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture, and stir until flour is moistened, using a wooden spoon and as few strokes as possible.

3. Remove tins from oven, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Top each muffin with a pecan half. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar, and drizzle with melted butter. Bake until tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

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