The other day I was marveling that here a month before Thanksgiving, the fall decor is already marked down everywhere I go. I was admiring a pan that bakes muffins in the shape of maple leaves when I suddenly remembered, "Hey! I have that pan!" I got it on clearance at Walmart for something like $3 late last fall. So, maple muffins I would have!
As you can see here, the bottoms are what actually look like maple leaves, and the tops (at left) look like regular muffins. I looked online for muffin recipes made with maple syrup, tweaked and added a few things, and here's my resulting muffin recipe. I really love the flavor of maple syrup, and you can definitely taste it in these muffins. Feel free to use "fall spices" if you don't have any chai teabags on hand, but chai tea is my new lazy substitute for them!
Maple & Chai Tea Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teabags of chai tea (about two teaspoons)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds (or other nuts)
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients just until blended. Pour into muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Yield: About 14 muffins from this pan, which has slightly smaller cavities than a regular muffin pan.
I highly recommend this Nordic Ware pan, by the way, and my only regret is that I didn't think to buy two!