Tropical Coconut Muffins

Most of my baking adventures happen on days when I have plenty of other things to do but when the baking bug bites me I simply sideline the rest just to satiate my hunger for baking. Since the little one now is showing her true colours and stepping into her terrible twos it is hard to finish baking in one go with an eternally clingy little monkey. Although I don't do any meticulous planning before baking (most of my baking happens on a whim) I phase out the whole program over a period of hours. If the bug bites me in the morning I try to complete my cooking first and parallely keep the eggs and butter out of the fridge. Next, I go about measuring the ingredients and placing them in different bowls and plonk them on my work table in the kitchen. We have a little foldable table that we picked up from IKEA for this very purpose. It springs into action only when required (a.k.a when the rest of the counter tops and workplaces are overburdened with random clutter) and gets shooed away when not in use. 

Although the whole programme sounds tedious (I mean, I never ever considered measuring out ingredients into bowls earlier) it does save a lot of time. When everything is ready all I have to do is mix the batter and pop the tins into the oven. This whole job hardly takes 10 mins and then the oven takes over. There are days when I even measure out ingredients the previous night I am good to go in the morning or whenever I am free to bake. Hey, lest you think I am hyper organized, I am NOT! I just like to do whatever it takes to make sure I get my healthy dose of baking every so often. I go insane otherwise. Those who have a baking obsession will empathise with me.

What I also like to do is bake with ingredients at hand, so I usually bookmark recipes that call for oil instead of butter or make use of some or the other ingredient that is hanging around in my pantry and needs to be used before expiry. Can you guess what that one ingredient is that usually finds itself in my fridge half used? For the number of times that I prepare pineapple sheera it has to be canned pineapple! Well, I always seem to have a few extra slices of pineapple which are too less a quantity to be used for another batch of sheera. These slices cannot be left in the can for too long so I was desperately hunting for recipes to use them up. I chanced upon this recipe in my favourite little book on baking, Everyday Muffins & Bakes from which I have tried the Welsh cakes, Mocha Brownies, Mincemeat Crumble Bars & Rose Petal Cupcakes. As expected the recipe didn't disappoint me. Not only were the pineapple slices put to good use but also the dessicated coconut that was leftover from the Choco Coconut Laddoos I tried last Deepavali.

When the muffins were baking the whole house was filled with the awesome aroma of toasted coconut. It filled me with such a warm feeling and it was wonderful to bite into these delicious muffins as soon as they cooled down a bit. It was truly a tropical fest what with the coconut, pineapple and banana that add a new dimension to muffins that would have otherwise been just plain and boring. These delicious muffins however are pretty heavy if you ask me - they fill you up easily and you may not go beyond one or two muffins at the most. This also is reason enough to serve them as lunch box goodies to your lil one. If he is a fussy eater and doesn't enjoy eating fruits by themselves he is sure to like this (hopefully!). Do consider serving them as an interesting breakfast option as these muffins are not very sweet. They make an ideal grab and go kind of a breakfast. I hope you enjoy them!

Love to bake? Do check out my recipe index on cakes & bakes

Tropical Coconut Muffins
Prep time: 15 mins | Bake time: 20 mins | Yield 14-15 muffins

For the topping:
1. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and allspice) into a mixing bowl. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C.
2. In another bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the lightly beaten eggs, mix in the yogurt and rum (if using)
3. Add the banana, pineapple and dessicated coconut and mix gently. Add this mixture into the bowl of sifted flour and other dry ingredients. Do not overstir the mixture - just mix till combined. It is ok if the batter seems a little lumpy.
4. Use a tablespoon to fill up the cupcake liners upto 2/3rds full with the prepared batter.
6. Mix together the raw sugar and allspice and sprinkle it over the muffins. Next, sprinkle the dessicated coconut and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or till the muffins have risen and turned golden and the skewer inserted comes out clean.
7. Remove the pan and allow to cool outside for 10 mins. Transfer the muffins onto a wire rack and let it cool down a bit before serving.

1. Allspice is the name of a kind of a warm spice like cinnamon or clove. It has a unique aroma of all spices and hence the name. Allspice plants are common down South India especially Mangalore and Kerala. Allspice should not be confused for garam masala which is a blend of different spices ground and mixed together. If you do not have allspice, substitute with equal quantity of cinnamon or just about 1/8th teaspoon of nutmeg powder. You may skip it altogether.

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