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Pineapple upside muffins

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The Pastry Chef's Baking

(Read caption) Pineapple coconut muffins with a brown sugar and walnut topping. Using the muffin recipe as a base, these would adapt well with substituting the pineapple and coconut for fruit add-ins of your choosing.

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This is normally the type of muffin I wouldn't make. I don't mind the coconut and I love pineapple but I just don't like fruit in baked goods. I love fruit but mostly in its natural state. Fresh pineapple is terrific and if it wasn't such a pain to peel and cut, I'd have it more often.  As it is, I cheat and get the pre-cut pack from Costco when I want pineapple. I also don't like crushed pineapple. To me, that seems like pineapple mush and not worth the effort of (barely) chewing since they're just tidbits. I prefer the nice, juicy pineapple chunks to really sink my teeth into.

But I am trying to broaden my baking horizons, so to speak, and thought I'd venture out with this pineapple muffin. I'm glad I did. Not only was this recipe super easy to make but it turned out pretty well, too. The coconut gives it a nice chewiness and I was wrong about the pineapple tidbits – they were just the right size and texture for the muffin. Any larger and they would've been too big and would have overwhelmed the rest of the muffin. 

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The muffin itself was a nice, cakey texture, not too heavy and not too light. I enjoyed the flavor from the brown sugar in the batter, complemented by both the coconut and the pineapple. Not to mention the topping is the bomb! It goes perfectly with the muffin with a sweet crunch to contrast with the cakey texture of the muffin itself and the chewiness from the coconut and pineapple. 

These pineapple upside muffins are best eaten lukewarm when the topping is cool enough to firm up and give some crunch. I did omit the nuts but you don't really need them. This recipe's a keeper. Next time, I may even try the base recipe but do different add-ins in place of the pineapple and coconut.

Pineapple upside muffins
From "Mad About Muffins" by Dot Vartan

Makes one dozen muffins

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

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1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut

1 egg

1/4 cup corn oil

1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup crushed pineapple, undrained

For the topping:

2 tablespoons butter

7 tablespoons light brown sugar

7 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar and coconut.

3. In another bowl, mix the egg, corn oil, butter, milk, vanilla extract and pineapple. Stir the pineapple mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

4. Fill greased muffin tins. Make the topping by cutting the butter into the brown sugar and stirring in the walnuts. Sprinkle the topping over the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are a golden brown.