2 cups pecan halves and/or big pieces, toasted*
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15-oz) pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease 24 muffin cups; set aside.
In a small bowl combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Spoon 1 heavy teaspoonful of this mixture into each of the prepared muffin cups, top with 1 rounded tablespoonful of the toasted pecans; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the two flours until well blended. Stir in the sugar, baking soda, salt, and pie spice. When well blended, make a well in the center.
In another bowl, using a wire whisk, blend together the pumpkin, canola oil, eggs, and water. When mixture is whisked together, pour into the well of the dry ingredients; stir just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
Spoon the batter over the pecans in the muffin cups. Fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.
As soon as buns are removed from the oven, invert the pans to release muffins. Spoon any topping remaining in cups over the tops of the muffins. Allow to cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before attempting to taste as the sticky mixture will be very hot.
Yield: 2 dozen buns.