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The bottoms of these are rich and gooey--an old fashioned comfort food for sure! Make sure to serve them upside down, so you don't loose any of the yummy pineapple bits. Make sure, also, that the tins are well greased. Can't use paper cups for these babies!
- nonstick cooking spray
- 12 candied cherries
- 12 pecan halves
- 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple in syrup, drained
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
- Position your oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F Prepare the muffin pans by spraying the cups and rims with nonstick spray. If using the silicon pans, spray as directed and put on a cookie sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter until well combined. Into the muffin cups, place one candied cherry and one pecan half. Then divide the brown sugar mixture even among the 12 cups placing about 1 teaspoon in the bottom of each. Top the brown sugar mixture in each cup with 1 teaspoon of crushed pineapple. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the buttermilk, the almond extract, the remaining 6 tablespoons of melted butter and the remaining crushed pineapple. Gently stir in the prepared flour mixture with a wooden spoon until moistened.
- Take care not to disturb the sugar and pineapple in the bottom of the cups, fill them three quarters full with batter. Reserve leftover batter for a second baking. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned with rounded tops. A toothpick inserted into one of the centers should come out with moist crumbs attached to it.
- Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently tip each muffin to one side, being careful to keep the pineapple bottom attached. If it comes loose, simply scrape it out, and gently press it back onto the muffin top once the muffin has been removed from the pan. Remove all the muffins, serve them upside down. Cool completely before before sealing them in an airtight container, where they will stay fresh for up to two days. These muffins do not freeze well.