The first recipe I have chosen is Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins from Eating Well. I chose this recipe because it reminded of my favorite treat from Starbucks on the Big Island, a honey bran muffin. I found out on my last visit that they will no longer be offering the muffin in their stores, even though it was one of their best sellers and you had to get there early to get one or miss out. I don't understand why stores do this. Anyway, I wanted to find something close and I liked that this had pineapple, brown sugar, and nuts in the topping.
After reading through the recipe I knew I wanted to make a few adjustments. I wanted to use macadamias rather than pecans or walnuts because I love the taste of them with pineapple. Also, since I did not have any whole wheat flour on hand, I used a blend of white and ultra-grain flours that I had purchased from Costco. To make the muffins a little more moist I added some applesauce. Lastly, I replaced the cinnamon with Baking Spice from Penzeys. There is a note in the recipe about plumping up the raisins by soaking them in hot water. To give them a bit more flavor I drained the can of sliced pineapple into a cup, heated the juice in the microwave, and then added the raisins. They plumped up nicely, and I drained them just before I added them to the bowl.
All in all I was really pleased with how these turned out. The muffin itself had a nice flavor, but it was the topping that made it. I think that next time I make these I will double the topping mixture because the taste of toasted macadamias, pineapple, and brown sugar was addictive. I made a double batch of these muffins but I ended up with 30 muffins.
Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional)
- 1 10-ounce can pineapple slices (drained - use the liquid for raisins)
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour (I used a white/ultra-grain flour)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Baking Spice
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, or orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, (not drained)
- 1 cup grated carrot, (1 large)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup raisins, preferably baking raisins (see Ingredient note)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
- To prepare topping: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into each muffin cup. Sprinkle nuts, if using, over the sugar. Stack pineapple slices and cut into 6 wedges. Place 2 wedges in each muffin cup.
- To prepare muffins: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Baking Spice in a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in oil, juice and vanilla. Stir in crushed pineapple and apple sauce. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in carrot, oats, raisins and nuts, if using. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they'll be quite full).
- Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch, 15 to 25 minutes. Immediately loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a baking sheet. Restore any stray pineapple pieces and nuts. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve upside-down, either warm or at room temperature.
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