This whole not having a job at month’s end thing is really starting to hit me. Did I really just do that? Why yes, I did! I have been given a nice exit plan of about 4 weeks, and I have been trying so hard to stay involved and be worth my weight around the office and not let too many people know too far in advance that I’m leaving. Word is starting to get out and I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised with my co-workers’ reactions. First, I should probably disclose that I’m the Chairman’s daughter and when the chairman’s daughter resigns it has a chance of hurting company morale. Anyways, everyone that knows I’m leaving the company has been nothing but supportive and truly happy for me that I’m going to be doing what I love and I could not be more grateful for their kindness. It is making the transition much easier, although the lightening of my workload has left me bored and there are only so many articles I can read in one day….
It gives me a lot of time to think about all aspects of my life and I think I’m going to be do just fine. After all, the biggest fear I have about this life change is not being able to take full advantage of the USC football season tickets I was so proud to buy for myself that I now will have to travel 300 miles to use. And that whole how to avoid living in a dorm thing… it wasn’t for me when I was 18, I don’t think it will be when I’m 25 either.
This boredom also gives me time to read a lot of recipes and research things I’ve been wanting to try… like coconut oil. I bought a jar a while back and have been wanting to use it but didn’t have any ideas. I starting researching and found that you can basically replace butter in any recipe with it so I gave it a try last night with some blueberry muffins. This time of year my fridge fills up with berries and they seem to go bad quicker than we can eat them all so it seemed like the perfect way to test this mysterious coconut oil in my pantry.
My big discovery from this experiment is that these make the house smell really good. Right out of the oven they had a really strong blueberry and cinnamon smell, but after they cooled and the next morning the coconut became more prominent. Also, the batter was extremely dry and I ended up adding more liquid than usual to the batter, I have a feeling it is because I used 2/3 whole wheat white flour and 1/3 regular flour and it was not because of the coconut oil/ butter exchange. I think the added liquids also might be why the muffins came out with really pretty tall domed tops and later fell (But it was probably because of too much leavening).
I’ll revisit coconut oil again with a control batch… maybe my classic chocolate chip cookies. Just to see if it was the whole wheat flour making things to dry creating the need for extra liquids or not. These muffins are worth a try in the meantime… they’re actually really good… I just want some answers to my chemistry question.
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla, or both)
1 cup whole wheat white flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk (or more if too dry)
1 pint of blueberries
1 stick butter, Melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat over the 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper cups
- Mix the flours, baking powder, baking sod and salt together. (The recipe has less leavening than I used so this should be correct)
- Beat the coconut oil and sugar together, add the eggs and extract.
- Add half of the flour and mix lightly
- Add the buttermilk mix until everything is incorporated and add the last amount of dry ingredients. If it looks more like cookie dough than cake batter now is the time to add more buttermilk, or milk or water (which ever you prefer) by the tablespoon.
- Carefully incorporate the blueberries. IF you have been using an electric mixer i recommend switching to a spatula so the berries do not get smashed.
- Using an ice cream scoop evenly divide the batter between the muffin tins, you should have enough for 12 or a little extra.
- Next make the crumb topping, mix all the ingredients together with your fingers to gent a nice crumb. If the topping looks too much like wet sand add a little extra flour until it feels drier, but you can still create a ball that stays together out of the dough.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over the muffins and place in the oven
- Bake for about 20 – 30 minutes depending on the size of your muffins.