I took a run-of-the-mill chocolate chip muffin recipe and ramped it up with toasted coconut. To accent the coconut flavors, I used unrefined organic coconut oil for part of the butter and added some coconut flavoring. For flours, I used half bread flour and half White Lily (low-protein) all-purpose flour, but regular unbleached all-purpose flour will work just as well. These muffins are very soft and tender, moist and mildly coconutty.
A note about coconut extracts/flavorings: They vary greatly, in strength, price and flavor. Sauer's and McCormick's, purchased in grocery stores, tend to be stronger, so use very sparingly to avoid a too-strong flavor. Spices, etc., recommended by Cook's Illustrated and accessed through the internet, has a wonderful, mild, natural-tasting coconut flavoring, but it's very pricey and shelf life is only one year. I've tried all of the above. I've even made my own coconut extract (also with a shelf life of one year). LorAnn Oils in Michigan is on my list of coconut extracts to try.
Readers, please weigh in: Tell us about your coconut extract.
Toasted Coconut-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Rating: 9 out of 10
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1 cup bread flour + 1 cup 2 Tbsp. White Lily all-purpose (or 2 cups unbleached all-purpose)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
1 cup toasted dried sweetened coconut
1 cup chocolate chips (I used Nestle Dark)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted + 1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (or just 1/2 c butter)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar (I used 4 tsp. NuNaturals stevia)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used homemade vanilla)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. coconut extract, depending on brand used (I used 1/2 tsp. Spices, etc.)
Heat oven to 425F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper baking cups and spray inside of cups. Whisk flour(s) before measuring, then sift flour(s), baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips; set aside.
Whisk butter, and coconut oil if using, with sugars till well combined. (Mixture may not be smooth, especially if room is cold.) Whisk in eggs, then milk and extracts. Pour over dry ingredients and mix lightly with spoon or spatula till just barely combined. Do not overmix, or muffins will be tough. Spoon into muffin cups, using about 1/4 cup per cup. Place in oven, close door, and immediately reduce heat to 325F. Bake on center rack about 15 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Enjoy warm or room temperature. Yield: 12 muffins