Friday, February 23, 2007

Eric’s Heavenly Coconut Lime Berry Muffins

I was experimenting with using up my leftover coconut milk one morning and these were the result. They’re named after a chef at the local Mexican restaurant where I used to waitress during my junior year of college. He took one bite and said, “Marry me!” Within a few hours he had consumed almost the entire batch by himself.

1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/3 c firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp lime zest
1-2 eggs (depends on the size of the egg)
2 Tbsp homemade double strength vanilla extract***
1 c coconut milk
1/4 c lime juice
2 3/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp Rumford baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups frozen berries (I like a mixture of raspberries and chopped strawberries)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper muffin cups and spray the tops of the pans with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix the oil, brown sugar, lime zest and egg together in a medium sized bowl to form a paste. Stir in the vanilla, coconut milk and lime juice.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and shredded coconut. (I think that the coating of flour that surrounds the coconut flakes by adding them in this step helps to suspend them evenly throughout the batter.) Add the wet ingredients and stir together. Fold in the frozen berries (which may also benefit from a light coating of flour beforehand).
Using an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, fill the paper muffin cups almost to the top. Sprinkle any leftover sweetened shredded coconut on the top of each muffin.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 10 minutes. You may want to check the muffins for “doneness” even before the 10 minutes is up. The muffins will turn golden brown on top and should spring back when pressed lightly. Let cool in the pan until muffins are cool enough to handle by hand, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. (They may not last that long, since a fresh hot muffin, split down the middle with just a bit of butter is truly heavenly. Just watch out for the piping hot berries that can easily leave you without taste buds for the week!)

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