Simple but flavorsome mini muffins made with shredded coconut, coconut milk (from the carton) and yogurt.
What, exactly, is the purpose of an official state muffin?
Don’t get me wrong: I love muffins as much as the next person – probably more so. But do states really need to establish official muffin flavors? Really?
The US states of New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts have designated the apple muffin, blueberry muffin and corn muffin as their respective state muffins. And according to Fox News and Wikipedia – I’ll let you decide how reliable those sources are – the coconut muffin is Hawaii’s state muffin.
Maybe it’s not the muffins themselves that irk me. Maybe it’s more the idea that a bunch of state legislators concluded that the best use of their time was to sit around discussing which muffin should be the ‘official’ one.
Or maybe it was the flavors that were picked. Does the apple muffin really reflect everything that is the state of New York? And the coconut muffin for Hawaii? My first thought was, ‘Jeez, they could’ve at least jazzed it up with some pineapple or mango or lime zest – or something!’
But then I felt inspired to actually make some coconut muffins, and you know what? Simple is good.
In a world where everything seems to be fudge topped, cheesecake swirled, inside out, upside down, quadruple layered, molten lava stuffed or deconstructed and smothered in salted caramel, sometimes it’s nice to just have a simple, uncomplicated muffin.
And no, that does not mean it’s a boring muffin.
These moist mini muffins are packed with shredded coconut, and the extra shredded coconut sprinkled on top of the muffins becomes a little toasty in the oven. For an extra burst of coconut, these are made with coconut milk – the type from the carton, not the can.
Brown sugar and vanilla extract adds flavor, and Greek-style yogurt keeps them moist and reduces the amount of oil needed (there’s only one tablespoon of oil in this recipe). I used canola oil, since that’s what I usually have hanging around. However, I imagine you could use melted coconut oil instead.
This recipe makes 14 mini muffins, which I realize is a little inconvenient if you only have a 12-hole pan. But don’t worry – you can bake them in batches! Once you’ve transferred the first twelve cooked muffins to a cooling rack, spoon the remaining batter into two muffins holes and half-fill the empty holes with water.
There’s only one problem with this: if you’re anything like me, it will take every ounce of your willpower to avoid eating the remaining muffin batter while the first batch is in the oven.
By the way, today’s not only the day before Easter (yes, already!). Today is also the day of the Democratic caucuses in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington state – another step in the long, unpredictable road to the US general election in November.
So, if you had to pick a state muffin for any – or all – of the three states caucusing today, what muffin(s) would you pick?
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) canola oil
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (60g) Greek-style yogurt
- ¼ cup (60mL) coconut milk (carton)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (85g) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (35g) shredded coconut
- Extra shredded coconut, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 14 mini muffin holes (from two 12-hole pans) with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, use a fork to whisk the egg, canola oil and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the yogurt, coconut milk and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and shredded coconut. Mix until just combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared mini muffin pans, filling each hole almost all of the way up. Sprinkle over some extra shredded coconut.
- Bake the mini muffins for 12 – 14 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched and a skewer comes out clean (or with a few crumbs). Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack.
- Store the mini muffins in an airtight container.
Use coconut milk from the carton, not the can.
If you only have one 12-hole mini muffin pan, you can bake them in batches. Once you've transferred the first twelve cooked muffins to a cooling rack, spoon the remaining batter into two muffins holes and half-fill the empty holes with water.