Unlike my last muffins, these are quite sweet.
I seem to be in the habit of using up leftover ricotta in desserts, whether they be cakes or muffins, and I’m fine with that. Last weekend, I made my Ricotta-Velveeta® Mac ‘n Cheese for a neighborhood picnic, and I bought way more ricotta than I needed, just because I’m happy to have an excuse to use it up. This time, instead of adapting recipes from the web, I decided to go back to Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio and start with a basic 2-egg muffin formula (p. 71)—2 eggs, 8 oz flour, 8 oz milk, 4 oz butter, 4 oz sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder—and fit in my changes. I guess ricotta could be substituted for part of the butter, but who really wants to omit butter? If you want your muffin to be a little lighter, you might decide to play with the butter. I found that it works better to take out some of the milk, and I decided how much by adding it last, since you can’t take out what you’ve already added. 🙄 I like a thick muffin batter—I think I’ve said that before—and a rather dense muffin, so I poured in the milk 2 oz at a time until I was satisfied. I ended up using only 4 oz of milk and 8 oz of ricotta. FYI I did weigh the ingredients.
The chocolate chunks and flaked coconut were an attempt to please both me and my husband. He’ll eat anything chocolate, and I’m in love with Bob’s Red Mill® unsweetened flaked coconut. It has a great chew and just the right coconut flavor. At the last minute, after going back and forth, I threw in some good vanilla, just to round out all the flavors.
Another Ricotta Muffin: Coconut and Chocolate Chunk
Preheat oven to 350º; butter a muffin tin or line with paper liners.
- 2 large eggs
- 8 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 oz butter, melted
- 8 oz all purpose flour
- 4 oz granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 oz milk ( or amount that gives the batter the consistency you want)
- 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill® flaked coconut
- 1/2-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla until fully combined—the mixture will be thick and fluffy.
- Continuing to whisk, stream in the melted butter until fully incorporated.
- In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined, without overmixing.
- Stir in the coconut and chocolate just until distributed.
- Scoop into muffin tin. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Cool muffins on a rack until completely cooled.
I know it seems too soon to post another muffin recipe, but the Tropical Muffins are gone, because my husband was eating them two and three at a time. Well, these are not so sweet, with only half the sugar, and they contain the one secret ingredient that will curb his appetite—cinnamon. I can’t understand who wouldn’t like cinnamon, but there it is, and I use it to my own benefit sometimes.
In addition to sour cream and carrots, there are chopped walnuts and flaked unsweetened coconut, so there are plenty of flavors and textures in these muffins—they’re just not sweet ones. None of the additions—carrots, coconut, nuts, sour cream—are sweet, except for the brown sugar. I think the muffins would be great with some cream cheese and a nice big cup of coffee in the morning. You could certainly sweeten them up with different additions or with a sweet spread. I just wanted something hearty for breakfast.
Sour Cream Carrot Breakfast Muffins
Preheat oven to 375°; prepare a muffin pan with paper liners or butter.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and egg and continue beating until well combined.
- Stir in dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon—just until lightly combined.
- Add carrots, nuts, and coconut and mix until well combined. The batter will be thick.
- Scoop the better into the muffin cups—it should mound high in the cups, but it will not spread out or run over.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 25 minutes worked for me.
There are so many things you can do with a batch of rice pudding, sort of like topping a sundae. Just set out lots of options—nuts, dried or fresh fruit, coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, M&Ms, whatever might appeal to your crew. For me, it’s coconut and raisins; for Ted, it’s chocolate chips. For me, it’s low-sugar; for Ted, it’s lactose-free.
I used a combination of canned, whole fat coconut milk and lactose-free whole milk, a total of about 3.5-4 cups, but you could use lots of other substitutions, like almond milk or soy milk and even more coconut milk. I use the full-fat products to make up for the missing sugar, so that I still get a full, rich mouth feel from the pudding. If sugar isn’t a problem for you, you could also use other sugars, like honey or maple syrup in place of refined sugar. But I must say that the Truvia Baking Blend® tastes pretty good and Ted will never know.
Mix liquids and sweetener
Rice in buttered crock
Pour liquids over rice
Stir in toppings
Slow Cooker Brown Rice Pudding, Low-Sugar, Lactose-Free
- 1 cup Jasmati brown rice or any brown rice of your choice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups whole lactose-free milk, scalded in microwave
- 1/2 cup (or less) Truvia Baking Blend® sweetener or equivalent
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- pinch of salt to taste
- more milk to achieve creamy texture
- Butter the bottom and sides of a slow-cooker crock.
- Place rice and cinnamon in crock.
- In separate bowl, mix milks, sweetener, and vanilla, stirring until sweetener is dissolved in the warm mixture.
- Pour liquids over rice, cover and cook on low setting for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, open crock and stir to check for doneness and creaminess. My rice was pretty much done, but I covered it for another 25 minutes just to be sure.
- Stir in about 1/2 cup more milk for creamy texture. Stir in a big pinch of kosher salt to taste.
Remove pudding to separate bowls, depending on how you want to serve it. I divided it into two bowls of about 2 cups each. To one bowl, I stirred in 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Flaked Coconut® and 1/4 cup raisins, while the rice was still warm. I put the other bowl in the refrigerator to cool before stirring in about 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Rice pudding can be served warm or cold—or both.
So, I asked, “Do you want some kind of a dessert for the Fourth, something with fruit, berries, maybe whipped cream or cream cheese?” And he says, “Yeah. Coconut cream pie.” What? Not the kind of fruity, easy to throw together dessert I was imagining, but coconut cream pie it is. Next time I won’t ask if I’d rather make something else.
I really like this recipe for “Classic Toasted Coconut Cream Pie,” because it uses all coconut milk as the filling liquid, where others usually use a combination of coconut milk and cream or half and half, and some don’t use coconut milk at all, which I do not understand. I also like that it calls for unsweetened dried coconut, so you know exactly how much sugar goes into the dessert. It’s a wonderfully creamy pie that is sweet enough, but not cloyingly sweet. This time around I even made her pie crust, a butter crust, and the whole thing turned out great, even if two of my pie shell sides tried to collapse.
Follow the link above for the recipe, but here’s what I did differently.
- I did not toast the coconut, which is Bob’s Red Mill® Unsweetened Flaked Coconut. Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for the toasted flavor. I did, however, soak the large flakes in some warm water until softer, and then drained it and let it dry a bit.
- I did not follow the direction to fold part of the whipped cream into the pastry cream filling, so my pie has what appears to be more whipped cream on top than the original picture. The pastry cream is so good and fluffy that it doesn’t need the addition of any whipped cream.
Here’s that link to the recipe again: “Classic Toasted Coconut Cream Pie”