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Coconut-Oat Muffins

Tips: Lots of texture as well as lots of flavor! The good flavors of chocolate, spices, orange zest, and of course oats and coconut meet in these easy-to-make muffins, which would be fun for brunch, teatime, or dessert. As with all muffins, these are best when still slightly warm or just cooled to room temperature. However, they can be stored airtight for a day at room temperature (reheat very briefly in microwave just to warm) or frozen for longer storage (defrost, still in wrappings, at room temperature, then warm in microwave).

You'll need oats to make these; use either quick-cooking or old fashioned oats-but not instant oatmeal! Vary these by changing the spicing or perhaps substituting raisins or currants for the coconut. These smell wonderful while baking, and they look attractive, with slight peaking, a golden brown color, and some of the chips showing through.

Yield: 9 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking OR old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. EACH ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (I can only find sweetened shredded coconut, so I use that)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Optional: Grated zest of about 1/4 of an orange (no more)
  • 1 egg, graded "large"

Method:

Line 9 cups in a standard muffin tin (each cup should be about 2-1/2 inches top diameter) with paper liners. Set tin aside. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 475 degrees F (yes, 475!).

Place oats in small bowl; pour boiling water over them. Stir to mix well. Set aside to cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, into small bowl sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In separate small bowl, combine miniature chips and coconut. Place a small spoonful of the sifted flour mixture into the chips-coconut; stir well with a spoon to coat chips and coconut with a bit of flour. Set all aside.

When oats have cooled at least 15 minutes, combine softened butter, both sugars, vanilla, and optional orange zest in medium bowl. With large spoon or sturdy handheld electric mixer, cream together thoroughly. Add egg and beat in well. Beat in oat-water mixture, which may still be slightly warm. Stir in sifted dry ingredients until almost blended"; by hand, add chips-coconut (along with any remaining flour mixture in them) and stir only until combined. Batter will be rather thick.

Divide batter evenly among paper-lined muffin cups, filling each 2/3 to 3/4 full. Just before baking, fill the three empty cups in the muffin tin about one-third full of water (this prevents the cups from warping while they bake). Place muffin tin into preheated oven and close door. IMMEDIATELY REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 375 DEGREES F.

Bake muffins 19 to 23 minutes, turning tin once back-to-front about halfway through baking time. Muffins are done when toothpick inserted into center of one of the muffins in the center of the tin emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake. Remove muffin tin to cooling rack; immediately remove muffins (still in paper liners) from individual muffin cups. Allow to cool until just warm (or room temperature) before serving. Store airtight at room temperature for up to a day; freeze for longer storage.

Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

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