Make 16 muffins
½ cup pecans
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
2 cups flour
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¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup milk, plain yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
Coarse decorator’s or demerara sugar
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast eight minutes. Allow to cool, then chop into small pieces.
2. Coat a muffin tin with vegetable oil spray, or fill cups with paper liners. Drain pineapple. Increase oven heat to 375 degrees.
3. Whisk flour with salt and baking soda. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about three minutes). Add the egg and beat until thoroughly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the milk, orange extract and zest. Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the toasted pecans and drained pineapple.
4. Fill prepared muffin cups three-fourths full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack. While muffins are still hot, brush tops with orange juice and sprinkle with the sugar.
— The Miami Herald