It is muffin mania here in Seattle. I have several requests for the Coconut Chai Muffins, so no time like the present to do a post on them...especially while they are fresh in my head (and in my freezer). One trait you may have noticed by now is how often I freeze my food. I actually just pulled some frozen coconut milk out of the freezer on Monday. And I have been mixing it with leftover 2% and curry powder to make curried onions and kale.
Another food that freezes really well is MUFFINS. After the yard sale last weekend, I had about 1 1/2 dozen left to eat. They were already individually wrapped, so I just popped them into a Ziplock bag and strategically placed them in the freezer. Other freezer contents include: peanut butter vegan cookies, a gigantic bag of shredded parmesan, pumpkin puree, a small bag of Sun Chips, miso, 1 chicken sausage, cooked rice noodles, homemade pesto, Moroccan carrot dip, and more coconut milk. And that is just the actual freezer. The doors are full too. It is a family joke how much I freeze my food. Last year my brother was visiting, and we went out to eat at least once a day. With so many leftovers, and so little time, I started freezing them. Worked out nicely.
My mom and dad gave me an extra shelving unit to put in there to help organize it a little better, which was great because I didn't have any shelves. It used to be containers and bags all stacked on top of each other. Now they are all nicely nestled within shelves.
But back to the (frozen) muffins. Last month I met my family in South Carolina for a beach vacation. We made the most fabulous breakfasts each day and dined outside on the warm back porch. One morning my mom made Pistachio Chai Muffins that we ate with blueberries and scrambled eggs. I have been waiting for an excuse to make them...and the yard sale was that such excuse. With or without an excuse, make them soon!
Coconut Chai Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light May 2011
Yields 12 muffins
The original recipe is Pistachio Chai muffins. But I didn't want to go out and buy pistachios. And I always have coconut on hand (or in the freezer door). What a better way to complement chai. And actually, I didn't have chai either, but did have Rooibos, which is pretty similar. The original recipe calls for two tea bags, which I used. But I recommend using one more to get more flavor.
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded coconut + more for sprinkling
2 chai or rooibos tea bags, sliced open
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, measure the flour, leveling out each cup with the back of a knife. Add the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and coconut. Combine. Cut the tea bags open and empty into the flour mixture and mix well. With your hands or the back of a spoon, form a well into the center of the flour mixture.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter, vanilla and egg. Slowly pour this into the well of the flour mixture. Stir just until blended, making sure to not over mix.
Prepare the muffin tin by making little cups out of parchment (like the Molasses Date Muffins post) or use store bought liners or cooking spray. Pour batter evenly into the 12 cups. Bake for 10 minutes. Pull out of the oven, and sprinkle more coconut on the top of each muffin if you want. (At this point, I put the muffin tin on top of a baking sheet in case the coconut fell off) Place back in oven for about 5 more minutes. Bake until muffins bounce back when touched in the middle, or a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Eat for breakfast or snack with a cup of tea.