Preheat oven to 375°F. In a blender, pulverize 2 1/2 cups oats into a fine flour. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, remaining 1/2 cup oats, 2 tsp cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk egg; stir in buttermilk, maple syrup and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in pears, chocolate chips and pecans.
In a small bowl, toss together Sucanat and remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
Line cups of 2 standard muffin tins with 16 paper liners. Fill each liner three-quarters full with batter. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp Sucanat mixture over batter in each liner. (Fill empty muffin cups with 2 to 3 tbsp water so tins won’t warp during baking.) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool muffins completely on wire racks.
Customize these whole-grain muffins by using your choice of cranberry sauce, but we love the kick from our Grapefruit & Cranberry Sauce on page 55. You’ll want to make a double batch of cranberry sauce this year to make certain you have extra for these treats!