Saturday, May 14, 2011


I can't even tell you how much I adore breakfast. I actually go to bed the night before, looking forward to fresh espresso and english muffins the next day. As much as I love food, and all its meals of the day, I have to admit, I get excited about breakfast the most. I always wake up hungry.

My son is 5 yrs. old and is only recently starting to want his breakfast a.s.a.p. Over the years, it's been a progression from breast milk to formula to regular milk to warm milk with cinnamon and a little sugar. That last one has been his "breakfast" for the past 2 years, at least. But now he's all, "I am boy. Food.", much in the way my husband meanders around saying, "I am man. Food. Yum." So in celebration of my son's new hunger pains, I've been looking up breakfast recipes online, and buying gloriously marked-down cookbooks at Borders, searching for those that are kid-friendly. Some of these cookbooks have me mightily confused. I won't name names, but dates stuffed with spiced cream cheese? Baked french toast with caramelized orange liquor? I don't know...maybe these chefs have children with truly adventurous palates. I, to a degree, do not. There certainly won't be any dates in my son's future (har har) because really, they're too weird looking for him.

So--muffins! They're like cupcakes sans icing! Perfect. I found a recipe for Blueberry Bran Muffins in a little golden book titled Just 4 Kids. I tweaked it a little--okay, a lot--and came up with the following recipe:

Chocolate Chip Coconut Muffins


- heaping 1 cup white all-purpose flour
- scant 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp. wheat germ
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup packed raw sugar
- pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom
- 2 heaping tbsp. grated unsweetened coconut
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup milk chocolate/carob chips (use at your discretion, of course)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
Mix together the flours, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. In a measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the honey, egg, and buttermilk.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until JUST combined. I can not reiterate this enough: DO NOT OVERMIX. It makes muffins tough and horrible. If there are a few little lumps of flour floating around in the batter, it's okay. Then with a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips and the coconut.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until about a third full. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the muffins have risen and are a light, golden-brown. You can eat these cooled or--my favorite--fresh from the oven with creamy, unsalted butter. Makes 12.

I smell a new weekend breakfast ritual in the works. Right now it smells a heck of a lot like chocolate and spices.

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