Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners, and spray with cooking spray.
Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until toasted and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, and roughly chop.
Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large bowl.
Chop the pears into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Pour the syrup into a liquid measuring cup. Pour off any excess syrup, or add water if needed, to make 3/4 cup.
Whisk together the syrup, oil, granulated sugar and vanilla in medium bowl. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture, and add the pears, pecans and 1/4 cup of the cranberries. Gently fold the mixture together until almost completely combined (it's OK if there are a few lumps).
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, and press some of the remaining 1/4 cup cranberries into the top of each. Bake until lightly golden and the muffins bounce back when pressed in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the tin, then remove and let cool completely on a rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
From Food Network Kitchen