Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘coconut’

I know I can’t complain about all of the rain we’ve been getting in California, but this weather is gloomy and it puts me in the mood to bake!  I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade granola and when I read that the amazing restaurant Eleven Madison Park (NYC) hands it out to their patrons as a thank you, I thought that was such a nice touch … and I knew it had to be good!  A quick trip to the bulk section at Whole Foods supplied me with all of my healthy ingredients.  This granola is delicious — healthy, salty, sweet, crunchy, nutty, and well, addictive.  So good on top of plain yogurt (and maybe vanilla ice cream) or on its own!  This would make a nice gift in a mason jar too.

Granola

Recipe from Eleven Madison Park, published in the NYT Magazine

 

Eleven Madison Park Granola

Makes: 6 cups

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/3 cup pumpkinseeds
1 tablespoon salt
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup dried sour cherries

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.

2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

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Oh, these muffins.  Don’t ask me how many I just ate!  The recipe was given to me over a year ago from my friend Jackie and I don’t know why it took me so long to try them myself.  She was 41 weeks pregnant at the time and anxiously awaiting her home birth.  She waddled over (sorry, Jackie — we all have that “waddle” in the final month!!) to my house with a basket of these warm from the oven.  She was panting and out-of-breath when I opened the door and I gasped, “Is it time?!”  I thought she was having contractions!  So, I secretly call these Jackie’s Contraction Muffins.  She was just winded from her walk, but I think she did go into labor the next day.  These are wonderful, earthy, sweet muffins from my Earthy Mama friend — I’m so glad she shared these with me!  Note: you can substitute raisins for any dried fruit that you like.  I made half of the recipe and it made a ton – about 10 regular muffins and 17 mini muffins, which I baked for 21 minutes.  Enjoy!

Morning Glory Muffins

Recipe from my friend Jackie who found it in The Gourmet Cookbook.

Ingredients:

4 cups white flour

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons salt

12 carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit like cherries or diced apricots)

1 cup unsweetened coconut (if you only have sweetened, just omit 1/4 cup of sugar)

1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

2 Granny Smith apples, grated

6 eggs

2 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter muffin cups well.

Whisk together flour sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, raisins, pecans, coconut and apples. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling them to the top. Bake until muffins are springy to the touch, about 30 minutes (or 21 minutes for mini muffins). Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature.

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These cupcakes are delicious and because of their all-white coloring and coconut topping (which looks like confetti), they are perfect for a special celebration (birthday party, baby shower, engagement party, Easter, etc.)  They are always a hit.  I did learn a lesson while making these once though.  While making my batter, I was cracking the eggs directly into the bowl, and I got a little shell in there.  For the life of me, I could not fish it out.  I just continued on, forgetting all about it… My husband ended up bringing in some cupcakes to work (so we didn’t end up eating all of them ourselves) and later that day, his future boss appeared at his door.  He said he really enjoyed the taste of the cupcakes, but next time would prefer them with no egg shell.  I was pretty mortified when this got relayed to me!  Ever since then, I’ve taken the time to crack my eggs into their own little bowl before adding them to my mixture!

Note: if you don’t like the taste of almond extract (I don’t), you can substitute with more vanilla extract.

Coconut Cupcake

Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.

Coconut Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

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