I want a ticket to somewhere tropical where I can lie on a beach and someone will bring me a nice, tall pina colada; where no one needs homework help, dinner doesn’t have to get on the table in 20 minutes flat and a skunk didn’t just run through my backyard to perfume my life. Unfortunately for me (and many of you I suspect), that’s not happening anytime soon, so I have decided that a sweet and tangy, pineapple coconut muffin will have to be my tropical mode of transportation for the time being.
I know. It’s not the same as being amidst palm trees, balmy breezes and roosters walking over your beach blanket, but it’s something. It’s actually quite nice to start your brrrrr, freezing morning with a hot cup of coffee and a sunny little pineapple banana muffin studded with toasted coconut. Not bad, right?
Did the roosters trip you up? If you have not been to Kauai, you may be confused and think that I have already been sippin’ some mighty strong pina coladas, but the truth is Kauai is full of wild roosters. Even at the beach!
There’s nothing quite like taking a little nap in the sun and hearing a scratch, scratch, scratch by your ear and opening one eye to find a chicken and several little chicks waddling on top of your towel. If you are an animal lover like myself, it is a welcome surprise. Creatures big and small make my day so roosters running free are just an added bonus on the long list of reasons why I love Kauai. Dream, dream, sigh, sigh…ah well, back to the muffins.
If you make these muffins now, then they will be sitting on your counter tomorrow morning, waiting to be grabbed and taken with you on your commute. I would also recommend taking along some island music and as horns blare and middle fingers run wild on the interstate, you can let your tunes and your pineapple muffin take you away like those Calgon commercials in the 70’s and 80’s.
I loved that the only thing a hard working, overstressed mom needed was a hot soak in a Calgon bath and magically she would be taken away. Hmphf! I hope you can hear the frown and sense my furrowed eyebrows. How about a little more help for that haggard mom?!! Maybe what she really needed was one of those Nanny 911 people from reality T.V., or perhaps just a night off and a straight-up martini? Calgon, seriously? I don’t think so.
I hope you make these tropical little bites of pineapple and coconut deliciousness because then you too might get transported or taken away somewhere nice and warm.
Pina Colada Muffins
Adapted from nowhere…invented by moi
Any substitutions I have included will be perfectly fine and your muffin will still be delicious, no worries.
Yields approximately 15 medium-sized muffins (normal muffin tin)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 t. cardamom (or leave it out if you don’t already have some)
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c. canned coconut milk (buttermilk or cow’s milk will work fine here, nonfat is not preferred)
1/2 c. reserved juice from canned pineapple chunks
1/4 c. canola oil
1 tsp orange, lemon or lime zest (whatever you have on hand)
1 very ripe banana, mashed
3/4 cup canned, drained and chopped pineapple chunks, juice reserved (some stores also have pineapple tidbits, this would be ideal and then you would not need to chop these)
Optional: 3/4 c. chopped macadamia nuts or more reasonably price nut such as pecan or walnuts
3/4 c. flaked, sweetened coconut
3 T. brown sugar
3 T. melted butter
Optional: 1/4 c. chopped macadamia nuts, or pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place muffin wrappers in muffin tin.
Whisk together flour through baking soda in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat together reserved 1/2 c. of pineapple juice from the drained pineapple chunks, coconut milk, canola oil, egg and banana. Chop 3/4 c. drained pineapple chunks first into thin halves and then half again, leaving yourself with little tidbits or small chunks of pineapple. Don’t over chop or the pineapple will liquify and add too muck liquid to your batter. Toss the pineapple tidbits with 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin.
Pour your liquid ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir until combined. Gently stir in pineapple. If your batter is too stiff, then add 2 more T. of Canola oil. This will do the trick. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until muffin is slightly firm to the touch or golden. Do not remove muffins from tin, you will be putting them back in to broil in a minute.
While the muffins are baking, prepare topping. Melt butter and mix with coconut, brown sugar and nuts. After your take your hot muffins out of the oven, carefully place one large spoonful of topping onto each muffin. Broil on a middle rack of the oven while watching closely. My broiler literally cooked these babies in about 20 seconds. Some were even a little charred. So it’s important to watch and grab that tin out as soon as you see them brown up just a little bit. You want them to get a little crispy on top and browned, but not black.
Serve warm if possible…they are delish this way!