Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Toasted Coconut Muffins

I used to think ill of dried coconut. The only use I could see for it was on one of those grinning Easter bunny cakes with jellybean accents and licorice whiskers. But I have had a bag of unsweetened coconut flakes in the cupboard for a while now, and much to my surprise, it's been an ingredient I use a lot. Toasted coconut muffins are so much better than regular old banana bread! They are the muffins you can pretend to be eating for breakfast on your imaginary island vacation.

Toasted Coconut Muffins
2/3 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons soy margarine, melted 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon canola oil (for muffin pan)
For the topping:
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped (not toasted)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the coconut at 350 for about 10 minutes and set it aside to cool. Whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and sea salt and set aside. Now stir the cane sugar, light brown sugar, egg, and mashed banana together. To this, add coconut milk, sour cream, soy margarine, coconut oil, dark rum, and vanilla. Set aside. 
Roughly chop the 2/3 cup toasted, cooled coconut. Gently fold together wet and dry ingredients along with the chopped coconut, but be careful not to overmix. Brush the muffin pan with canola oil and fill the cups almost to the top. Mix the 4 ingredients for the topping, light brown sugar, coconut flakes, pecans, and sea salt, and sprinkle this evenly over the muffins before you put them in the oven. Bake for at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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