Coconut is one of those things that you love it or you hate it. I remember a friend of mine telling me that someone she knew hated coconut macaroons so much that they could sum up everything that was wrong in the world through a description of a coconut macaroon. Now, I never heard that description, but I probably couldn’t disagree more. I love coconut a lot and when I read the description that this bread was “macaroon-like” I was very interested.
I tend to take some shortcuts in the kitchen, softening butter in the microwave, toasting nuts and coconut also in the microwave. For this recipe, I did toast the coconut on the stove and my house smelled amazing. I think they tell you to bake cookies when you are showing your house to sell, but you should really toast coconut instead; the fragrance is divine! Do watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn, as burnt coconut is not tasty at all.
This mixes quickly but takes a little longer to bake. I thought that an hour was too long to bake, but it wasn’t done in the center so I covered it with foil to avoid overdone edges. That seemed to work very well, as it was done just right without getting too browned. Some quick breads have to be served right away, but I let this sit for a day and it was still very fresh when I cut it. I look it to the advising center in the college, where I help out during the summer, where it was gone in about 30 minutes. The bread is macaroon-like, with great coconut flavor.
Toasted Coconut Bread
1 cup coconut
2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9” x 5” pan with cooking spray.
Toast coconut, stirring constantly, in a small ungreased skillet over medium heat. Watch carefully so the coconut doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl combine the cooled toasted coconut, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, milk, butter and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture over the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix.
Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the bread seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of the baking time.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely before slicing.
Recipe from All the Best Muffins and Quick Breads by Joie Warner