What do you do when you’ve had the dreariest, snowless winter ever and you’re sick and tired of the gray, boring blahs? You go through your fridge, freezer and pantry, pull out the pineapple, oranges, and coconut, and make tropical-type muffins that make you think you’re tasting a small bit of the tropics. Will these transport you to a beach in the Caribbean? A Hawaiian Island? A gorgeous deck overlooking the most beautiful turquoise water in the world? No. But they taste great, and they may cheer you up and lift your spirits, even if only for your breakfast or coffee break!
These are the easy “mix the dry, mix the wet, then add the wet to the dry” type muffins. And thank you to my Facebook friends for helping me choose a name for these!
Tropical Sunshine Muffins
Makes 19 standard size muffins.
Adapted from Fine Cooking
3 12 cups flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
10 tbsp butter, melted and cooled a bit
1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
1 cup Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt or sour cream)
2 large eggs plus one egg yolk
1 1/2 cup chopped pineapple, drained (canned or fresh)
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, DIVIDED IN HALF (you're going to toast half of it for the muffins tops)
zest of one medium orange
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbsp pineapple juice
2 tbsp orange juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease one standard muffin pan and 7 cups in a second muffin pan.
To toast the pecans--heat a small pan over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally, but watch carefully. When you start to smell them, they're getting there. When they're a nice golden brown, remove them and set them aside. Repeat this step for the 3/4 cups coconut. Watch them both carefully, because they go from toasted to burnt quickly. Don't be tempted to walk away--it only takes a few minutes, and at the same time--adds so much flavor!
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, butter, buttermilk, yogurt and eggs--mix well. Pour the wet into the dry, and with a rubber spatula, gently fold until the dry stuff is mostly mostly moistened. Fold in the pineapple, pecans, the untoasted coconut and the orange zest. Don't overmix--the batter should be a bit lumpy.
I always use an ice cream scoop to get the same amount in each muffin tin, but you can use a spoon, as well. Evenly distribute the batter--you should get about 19 muffins. Bake for 30 minutes and start checking for doneness--golden brown and a tester inserted will come out clean. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pans for about 10-15 minutes, then remove the muffins to cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the glaze:
Put the confectioners sugar in a bowl and add the pineapple and orange juices. Whisk to mix well and remove any lumps. Place the muffins on the cooling racks over a sheet pan lined with parchment or foil, and spoon some glaze over each of the muffins. Right after glazing the muffins, sprinkle the toasted coconut over each one. The toasted coconut also helps to sort of “set” the glaze so they’re not so sticky later.
Store in an airtight container. Oh! If it's hot in your kitchen, you'll want to refrigerate these. Pineapple in baked goods gets funky really fast when it's warm.