[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Every recipe for coconut sweets that I see these days seems to call for unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds. At first I gamely followed along, but then I noticed that I missed the chew, the pliant bend of toasty sugar-coated spirals. The Moundsian, Tri Color Neapolitan Coconut Slice-esque taste, was missing.

Well, I said to myself. Forget that.

Back to the drawing board using good old Baker's Angel Flake coconut. Want an example of how it has no replacement? Try it as a topping for muffins. Sweetened coconut, sprinkled on 3/4-full muffin tins before baking, will bake up into sweet, toasty, chewy muffin hats. Each a structured yet giving mass of curls like when I used to gnaw on my baby-sitter's hair.

The crumb is very moist thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt, and using both the zest and juice of the key limes really imbues it with flavor. Each bite is a progression of toasty coconut giving way to soft, almost cupcake-like muffin with a—what's that—bright zingy lime flavor, and oh, back again to coconut that tastes like coconut sweets used to, in other words a little bit "tropical" and a little bit like a macaroon cookie.

Get the Recipe

Coconut Key Lime Muffins »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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