Hilary is on a ski trip and Danielle is working, so last night it was just me, myself and I in our lovely apartment. So what’s a lonely 20-something to do in an empty apartment? Bake, of course! I made myself an awesome dinner for one (baked salmon with lemon dijon sauce over a bed of sautéed onions and spinach – I’m having a love affair with salmon lately!) and then set out to find a perfect recipe to bake. As always, Pinterest didn’t disappoint.
The great thing about my kitchen now is that because we’ve lived here for about 6 months, we finally have a great stockpile of ingredients and spices. That means that when I get the urge to bake or cook, I often don’t have to go to the grocery store (this is great because a trip to the grocery store usually threatens to kill my cooking inspired mood!). Case in point: last night. I found this recipe for Carrot Coconut Bread with a Cream Cheese Glaze on Pinterest, and was delighted to discover that I had all of the necessary ingredients on my shelves. All I had to do was start cooking!
Credit for this recipe (I modified it a bit) goes to another food blog, easyeverydayeats.com. Check them out :).
For this recipe, which makes two small 8×3 inch loaves, or one big 9×5 inch loaf, you will need:
1 1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled (or vegetable oil, if you prefer)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then mix together all of the dry ingredients in one bowl – flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and coconut. Set that bowl aside.
Whisk together all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl – eggs, butter (make sure it’s cooled after you melt it. Like I mentioned before, you can use vegetable oil if you want to be healthier. I went for the butter – go big or go home, right?), sour cream and vanilla. Then grate the carrots and stir them into the wet mixture.
Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture just until combined. Then pour your batter into lightly greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for about 55 minutes for a big loaf, and 35-40 minutes for smaller loaves.
When the loaves are lightly browned and look set, stick a tooth pick in the center. If it comes out clean, the bread is done! Cool for about 10 minutes on a rack, then remove loaves from the pans and put them back on the wire rack. If you want to speed up the cooling process, you can stick the loaves in the fridge for about ten minutes.
While the loaves are cooling, mix up your cream cheese glaze! For the glaze, you will need:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 T cream cheese (ideally it should be softened to make whisking easier, although I forgot to soften it and it still worked fine)
2 T milk
1/4 t vanilla (to be honest, I ran out of vanilla, so I didn’t put any vanilla into the glaze and it was still great!)
Whisk those ingredients together in a small bowl and spread on top of the loaves when they are still slightly warm to the touch. When they are hot, they will melt the glaze and it will roll off of the loaves. When they are slightly warm, they will absorb liquid better and the glaze will seep into the bread making it moist and sweet.
Store the loaves covered at room temperature! They are even better the second day. You could also freeze them if you want to save them for later.
If you’re a fan of nuts (I’m not), consider adding 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to this recipe. Zucchini would also be a welcome addition, as it pairs well with carrots and would make the bread super moist! If you want zucchini in your bread, add 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini and 3/4 cup of shredded carrots.
So there you have it – quick, easy and delicious! The most annoying part of this is shredding the carrots, but try shredding them with a peeler. You’ll get long, thin strips of carrot that you can chop into smaller pieces with a knife. My boyfriend Sean came over right after I finished baking. He had just finished his daily MCAT studying and looked so miserable that I ended up sending him home to his roommate with the second small loaf. It was gone soon after he walked in the door of his apartment.
Lots of love,