Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year’s Resolution and Coconut Bran Muffins

I neglect my cookbooks. I love them, I buy them and I ask for them, but once they join the other 48 cookbooks on my cookbook shelf they don’t get much love. With all the fabulous food blogs I follow, cooking magazines I subscribe to, online cooking sites and Pinterest, I’m always overloaded with new recipes I’m excited to try.

My resolution for this year is to make at least one recipe out of every cookbook I own. And if I can’t find at least one recipe that looks enticing enough to try, then the book is going to be donated. So here goes: Project Cookbook 2012. Of course I have favorite cookbook recipes I turn to over and over again; such as Grammy’s Chicken Pot Pie from Simply Classic (the Seattle Junior League Cookbook), Neil’s pancakes from the Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook and Blue Cheese Beef Roll from Elena’s Cookbook, so as a rule, the recipe I make will have to be something new I’ve never tried before.

And this will be a win win because over at Beauties and the Feast (the recipe club blog I share with my girlfriends) we’re changing our format for 2012 so it’s more like Iron Chef or Chopped: one ingredient will be posted each month and all six of us have to come up with a recipe featuring that ingredient. I’m sure I’ll find lots of inspiration in all my beloved cookbooks!

So yes, while others are resolving to eat better and exercise more, I conveniently found a way to work what I love most into my New Year’s Resolution. At least I’m setting myself up for success! Cheers to 2012!

Assignment #1: Coconut Bran Muffins from Coconut Lover’s Cookbook

My boss, who has a great sense of humor, gave me not one, not two, but three coconut cookbooks for Christmas! He loves coconut and can’t stop talking about the coconut muffins he had when he went to Kauai. So I’m sure his intention was to supply me with a lifetime of coconut recipes so I can bring treats into work. Is what I don’t think he realized is there is a new coconut / health food craze and instead of featuring things like coconut cream pie, the three cookbooks are chock full of healthy recipes!

I adapted this muffin recipe and of course managed to make it not quite as healthy as the original (chocolate chips and coconut just go so well together!). The texture is a bit off, they’re kind of dense but I liked all the cinnamon and the nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips make the muffins a hearty breakfast treat! They went over very well when I shared them with my morning coffee buddies at work.

Adapted from Coconut Lover’s Cookbook (page 133)

Makes 12 muffins

1 cup light coconut milk (or water)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar (or honey)
1 egg
½ cup bran cereal (or 1/4 cup wheat bran)
1 cup flour (or whole wheat flour)
¼ cup grated coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup coconut oil (now available at Trader Joe’s!)
½ cup nuts (I used pecans), optional
½ cup mini dark chocolate chips, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees f.
2. Combine coconut milk, vanilla, sugar, egg and bran cereal in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes. The bran will absorb some of the moisture as it sits, which will improve the texture of the final product.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, grated coconut, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. Add melted (not hot) coconut oil to the liquid ingredients, add the nuts and mix together.
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and the chocolate chips in one bowl and mix until just moist. Do not over mix or the muffins will not rise as well (maybe this is why I had dense muffins?).
6. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners or coat with cooking spray or coconut oil. Fill muffin cups half full and bake for 15 minutes.

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  1. thanks for the cookbook shoutout!

    love and butter
    dede lahman
    clinton st. baking co

  2. Great resolution! Can't wait to see and read the ensuing adventure!

  3. I love your resolution!! Looking forward to seeing not only the recipes you pick, but from where they came!

  4. Fun! I think it's a great plan. I have a few that I've never made anything out of as well. But, I love my cookbooks. They're to me what a stack of Vogue magazines are to someone who loves fashion.

  5. I foresee a lot more posts on Taco Tuesday with your New Year resolution. Good luck and good eats!

  6. Love the resolution and I agree - set yourself up for success sister! I can't wait to hear about all the exciting things you are going to try.