Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recipe: Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love to bake, so often, I open up a cookbook and make the first recipe I have all the ingredients for. It's usually muffins, because they are such a convenient snack or breakfast (or lunch dessert! - everyone has lunch desserts, yes?) to take to work. This weekend, it was a delicious little gem involving toasted coconut and chocolate chips. Since I used some almond extract, it was almost like an Almond Joy in muffin form. 

Oh, yes.

Do yourself a favor and make these. NOW. (If you don't like coconut, I am sorry. But you should try to like it because it's really freakin' good.)

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Vegan Brunch, makes 12 muffins

1 ¼ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ¼ cups soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour (I used 1 ½ cups of whole wheat pastry flour + ½ cup all-purpose)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar (I just used all regular sugar – I don’t buy brown sugar)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (or more vanilla OR almond extract, which made it so. good.)

1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

2. First, toast the coconut. Preheat a large pan over medium-low heat. Pour in the coconut and, using a spatula, move it around slowly and consistently for about 4 minutes. The coconut should start browning almost immediately; if it doesn't then turn the heat up a bit. Remove from heat when toasted (it should appear honey brown to dark chestnut in color).

3. Measure milk into a measuring cup and add vinegar. Set aside to curdle ("curdle" is a funny word).

4. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and allspice. Create a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil, and extracts. Mix together until just combined, then fold in toasted coconut and chocolate chips. Fill the muffin tin three-quarters of the way with batter and bake for 23 to 27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted through the center becomes clean. Let cool a bit until you can loosen the muffins and transfer them to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.

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