Comforting Brown Butter Coconut Dessert “Bread”

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Comforting Coconut Bread

Comforting Coconut Bread

It’s not enough that I dream and think about food and recipes nearly every single day – I think about these subjects in every location imaginable – whether it’s at the gym, the grocery store, the farmer’s market, passing restaurants, in my own kitchen… But it’s not in a bad way at all.  I love to read cookbooks, cooking magazines and cooking blogs. And I found this particular recipe reading a food blog.

Two things attracted me to this recipe, which I haven’t changed much from the Smitten Kitchen  where I found it:    #1: The very thought of browned butter – my “ go to” way of enhancing my roasted vegetables and even my chocolate chip cookies –  anytime I want a nuttiness plus butter flavor. And #2: I can make this bread with very few bowls, one measuring cup (½ cup to be specific) and a spatula.  No mixer bowl or beaters to clean up!

I love to present a sliver of this bread, slightly warmed, with some slices of Pink Lady apple or Asian pear or early Spring strawberries for a not-too-sweet dessert.  I often freeze half of the loaf too because sadly there are just two adults living in my house.  I’ve made this a total of four times in the past month and the next go around I’m going to bake it in individual muffin tins.  And to be honest, the third reason I love making this is that it isn’t something I need to decorate at all.  I love desserts to look pretty but I don’t have the time or the patience to frost, pipe, sprinkle…all those fancy finishing touches.  I rather go for great tasting desserts.

If you choose to make and serve this for company, be sure to find out  whether your guests like coconut or not.  Before my catering days I did not realize that coconut and cilantro are two flavors that people either love or do not like one bit.  So inquire, then go forth and make this if the answer is “I like coconut.”

Kudos to Smitten Kitchen (Deb Perelman) – I have her book, I read her blog and she is one of the young uns that has it together in terms of good recipes, photography and writing style.  I wish I could hate her, but I am in awe.  And here is my version of her inspirational recipe!

Fresh Out of the Oven

Fresh Out of the Oven

Brown Butter Coconut Bread

From Bill Granger, via Wednesday Chef, via The New York Times, via Smitten Kitchen via My Global Kitchens (a few minor tweaks).  I think every single recipe on the Internet is via via via….

Makes One Loaf


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½  teaspoon  salt
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup minus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups, but I actually weighed this)
6 tablespoons or ¾ stick of salted butter, melted until it is just browned*
Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for the loaf baking pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a  quart sized bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar.  Add coconut, and stir to mix. Make a “well” in the center of these ingredients, and pour in the egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add browned butter*, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.

Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. (I spray it, then put parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan then spray on top of the parchment again.)  The batter is pretty loose for quick bread.   Spread batter in this pan evenly and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in the pan five minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

I cannot imagine serving this with butter or with anything sweet or salty at all.  It is perfect as is, particularly when a little warm.

*To brown the butter:put it in a small metal saucepan over medium high heat  until it melts.  Continue cooking, swirling the pan all the time for another two minutes or so until the color turns to a dark golden brown and smells nutty.  (Right before this, my butter always foams up).  Immediately remove from the heat and scrape the butter into a glass bowl so it doesn’t keep cooking.

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