Even though Easter was two days ago, the food memories I have at this time of year always inspire my cooking. March and April are strange months because they’re straddling the line of the last dying winter produce and the new spring arrivals.
When I think back to Easter meals as a child, the ingredients and dishes I remember are the best options for inspiration. Coconut and carrot cake were always staple desserts on our holiday table, so I always incorporate those ingredients into desserts or baked goods that I’m wanting to develop this particular time of year.
For an easy breakfast or afternoon snack, I love muffins. Rarely will I ever admit to liking anything in miniature form, however, these muffins do just the trick. They’re not too sweet and stay remarkably crunchy, thanks to the dried coconut in them.
They’re ridiculously easy and quick to prepare when you’re waiting for coffee in the morning or have just gotten home after school and need a sweet pick-me-up. Eaten plain or gussied up with rich cream cheese frosting, they’re just the thing to sate my eager hankerings for new tastes before the fresh spring fruit lands in my hands.
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Makes about 2 dozen
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
4 large eggs
8 ounces finely grated carrots
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup finely chopped raisins or currants
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together both sugars, oil, vanilla, yogurt and eggs until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Add the carrots, coconut, applesauce and raisins, and stir until evenly combined.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 12-cup muffin pans, and set aside. Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup, divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until risen and deeply caramelized on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans and then unmold and let cool completely before serving.
Note: Desiccated coconut is the dried, small flecks of coconut you find in the nut and bulk bin aisles of grocery stores. You can use the sweetened shredded kind found in bags, but you’ll want to decrease the amount of sugar, to taste, to offset the added sweetness.
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