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Pineapple-Coconut Muffins


Since I had such success with the cherry-coconut muffins, I decided to use some of the pineapple sitting in the fridge to make a variation. But I have a problem. When I use fresh fruit in muffins, I think, “I love fruit. Fruit is good. So more fruit will make these even better.” And, yes, loading a muffin with fruit can be tasty, but it can also make it heavy. So these need a little tweaking—and a little restraint on my part—before they’re light and fluffy and perfect. But still, a nice Sunday-morning breakfast. The recipe is basically the same as the cherry-coconut muffins, with somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple swapped out for the dried cherries and the zest of one orange added.

Coconut-Cherry Muffins

This is officially the first baked-good recipe that I have developed 100% on my own, with no inspiration or measurements or anything from another source. And I expected to have to make a few trials, tweak it a bit here and there, but the first time was pretty perfect. Beginner’s luck I guess. The muffins came out light and airy, moist but not soggy, and the flavors were wonderful together. The dried Rainier cherries came from Trader Joe’s, one of those things that look good on the shelf so you buy them, thinking . . . some day. But now that my tiny little pantry cupboard is so full that things fall out of it when I open the door, it’s time to use up those some day items. But I’m sure these would work fine with any dried fruit. Maybe that dried mango I bought for some day.

Coconut-Cherry Muffins

Makes about 7 muffins

1/2 cup dried Rainier cherries, soaked in hot water until plump, then drained and chopped
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Shaved coconut

Mix together coconut milk and flax seed and set aside until gooey, then add canola oil, sugar, and vanilla and mix well. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking powder, then add wet ingredients and cherries to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Fill lined muffin tin almost to the top and crumble shaved coconut on top of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.


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