Monday, September 21, 2009

Amaretto Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes

1½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cup granulated sugar
3 item large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup pure almond extract
¾ cup milk
¼ cup amaretto


1. Preheat oven 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl periodically. Mix in extracts. Combine milk and amaretto, set aside. Reduce speed; add flour mixture alternating with milk-amaretto mixture, ending with flour until just combined.

Pineapple Glaze:

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup firmly packed light brown

½ cups canned pineapple slices packed in juice, drained

6 maraschino cherries, halved

1. Spray muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, tapping out excess.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, stirring occasionally, until sugar bubbles. Divide butter-sugar mixture among cupcake wells to generously cover bottom.

3. Cut each pineapple slice in diagonal fours to create eight fan-shaped chunks. Place 4 or 5 of the chunks evenly over the butter-sugar mixture with the broader part of the fan along the edge of the well. Place half a cherry, rounded side up into the center, gently press down.4. Divide batter evenly over pineapple glaze filling two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pans h

alfway through until golden brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pans to rack or counter to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

5. To finish, run a small icing spatula or thin bladed knife around cupcakes and invert over a baking sheet to remove. Use a spoon to replace any topping stuck to bottom of pan. Serve immediately.