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Coconut Lime Muffins

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Coconut Lime Muffins

Coconut and lime is one of my favorite flavor combinations – and I’m not just saying that because I happen to be a big fan of tiki drinks, either. Coconut is rich and buttery, and bright, zesty lime offers the perfect contrast when combined with it in recipes, whether you’re mixing up cocktails or making a batch of these├é┬áCoconut Lime Muffins. The muffins are packed with lots of coconut and are accented with just the right hint of lime, leaving feeling like you’ve just had a bite of vacation after you’ve eaten one.

This recipe uses one of my favorite methods, almost a one-bowl recipe. First, the dry ingredients are mixed together in a large bowl. Next the wet ingredients – including flavorings like vanilla and lime zest – are stirred in. Melted butter is mixed in last, tenderizing the batter as it brings all the ingredients together. I sometimes say that this is “almost” a one-bowl recipe because you’re probably going to need a second small bowl to melt the butter in the microwave (it can also be done in a saucepan on the stovetop). Regardless of whether you consider it to be two bowls or one, it’s quick and easy to put it all together.

You will need the zest of just one lime in these muffins. While 2 or 2 1/2 teaspoons of lime zest may not seem like much, lime oil is tremendously potent and you’re definitely going to taste it in every bite. If you go overboard with the lime, you may not end up tasting quite as much coconut, so don’t feel tempted to zest a second lime into the mix unless you are in the mood for a lot of citrus.

Coconut Lime Muffins

I like to use sweetened, shredded coconut in these muffins. Sweetened coconut tends to be a bit more moist than unsweetened coconut, which simply makes the finished muffins even fluffier. The muffin batter is also not overly sweet on its own and the little bit of extra sweetness from the coconut really helps its flavor to pop. In fact, if you only have unsweetened coconut available, consider adding 1-2 tbsp of extra sugar to the batter when mixing it up.

The muffins are ready to eat as soon as they come out of the oven, but are best at room temperature. They are excellent when spread with a little bit of butter, lemon/lime curd or jam, too. They’ll keep well for a couple of days after baking if stored in an airtight container.

Coconut Lime Muffins
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups shredded coconut (pref. sweetened )
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (regular or coconut)
2 – 2 1/2 tsp lime zest (from 1 lime)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in shredded coconut.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and lime zest. Starting at the center of the well of wet ingredients, begin mixing everything together, incorporating the dry ingredients as you stir. Mix until ingredients are almost fully combined and only a few streaks of flour remain.
Pour in the melted butter and stir until butter is completely incorporated and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin pan (cups will be quite full).
Bake for 21-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins.

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