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Coconut and pineapple team beautifully in that famous rum drink, the piña colada. The two play just as nicely together in this whole-grain muffin. Banana adds pleasingly moist texture, and an additional taste of the tropics.
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar, light or dark
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon coconut flavor or rum flavor (optional)
1 1/2 cups (13 1/2 ounces) mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium to large bananas, about 22 ounces before peeling)*
1/4 cup (3 ounces) honey
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, organic preferred
3/4 to 1 cup (4 1/2 to 6 ounces) diced dried pineapple**
generous 1/3 cup (1 ounce) shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, for topping
*Did you guess wrong and find yourself a bit short of 1 1/2 cups mashed banana? Rather than cut a chunk off another banana, top off the measuring cup with applesauce, if desired.
**Don’t use canned pineapple; it’s too juicy and will make the muffins soggy. If you like, substitute another dried fruit: chopped dates, raisins, or chopped apricots are all good choices.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin cups, and grease the cups.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and coconut or rum flavor. Add the bananas, honey, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt, beating until smooth. Stir in the flour, then the dried fruit. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with coconut.
Bake the muffins for 25 to 28 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and as soon as possible tilt each muffin in its cup, to allow air to circulate and prevent the bottoms from steaming. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
Yield: 12 muffins.