Each glorious bite of Morning Glory Muffins is chocked full of fruit, nuts and spices. I stumbled onto this recipe in Chris Kimball’s The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook, that I got when he and Bridget Lancaster from America’s Test Kitchen were in St. Louis earlier this year. I went to their lecture and with my ticket came the autographed cookbook. The hefty 564-page volume includes every recipe from all eight seasons of their show. I flipped through it and marked some recipes I wanted to try sometime. The book wintered on my night table.
On one of those days recently, when it was too hot to do much outdoors, I began sorting through my stash of unread reading material. That’s when I again came upon Morning Glory Muffins. The photo with the warm muffin broken open revealing tasty bits of pineapple, walnuts, coconut, and apple lured me into reading more.
There was something about the combination of ingredients that seemed familiar. Then it dawned on me. It was much like the old Hummingbird Cake every housewife made in the seventies. Sometimes it was called a Dr. Bird Cake. The banana-pineapple-nut spice cake was Southern Living‘s most requested recipe in the magazine’s history. In their updated version, they reduced the amount of oil and frosting in the recipe. I figured if this muffin recipe was kin to the Bird Cake, it was worth a try.
While I admire the work of America’s Test Kitchen and the Cook’s Country publications, sometimes I feel like they add extra steps that add time and effort to a recipe. But I soldiered on. I’m glad I did. The outcome was worth the few extra steps inserted to make sure the muffins were moist. The recipe called for putting the stiff, sticky batter into 12 muffin cups. But I got 18 out of mine, which was a bonus since they disappear quickly.
Morning Glory Muffins
- 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut, toasted
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and shredded
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (2-3 medium)
- 1 cup golden raisins
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin. Process coconut and walnuts in food processor until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt and pulse until combined. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
Place pineapple and shredded apple in fine-mesh strainer set over liquid measuring cup. Press fruit dry (juice should measure about 1 cup). Bring juice to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Whisk melted butter, cooled juice, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until combined. Stir in pineapple-apple mixture, carrots, and raisins.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean, 24 to 28 minutes. Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack. Serve warm. (Muffins can be stored in airtight container for 3 days.)