I initially thought that combining dried cherries, lime zest and coconut would make for a muffin with strong flavors. The ingredients blended really well together and actually produced a muffin with a rather delicate flavor. The lime zest adds a hint of citrus undertones - if you're looking for a pronounced lime flavor, increase the amount of zest to 1 tablespoon.
I highly recommend sprinkling the tops of these muffins with coarse sugar before baking. I bought mine at Sur La Table, but some grocery stores carry coarse sugar in the baking aisle. You could also use turbinado sugar, or regular granulated sugar. I just really like the crunch that the coarse sugar imparts to the muffins.
Cherry Lime and Coconut Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup vanilla sugar (you can also use regular granulated sugar)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coconut
2 teaspoons lime zest, finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 6 ingredients (buttermilk through egg) in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle the tops evenly with the coarse sugar.
Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove muffins from pan; cool on a wire rack.