I never realize how spoiled I am by the Northwest addiction and thus perfection of coffee until I leave this corner of the country. In places that I have been in the south, or even just east of the mountains, an equal size town will have one good shop if you are lucky. There are coffee shops everywhere you turn and then there are some real coffee shops tucked away in Bellingham with award winning coffee and pastries that will just knock your socks off.
The top of my "most frequented coffee shop" list is The Black Drop Coffee House where the coffee is perfect. Avellino's is a close second; their espresso machine was taken out of a hotel on the east coast, it is big, beautiful and copper with a "Cronk" emblem on the side of it. They have a full bakery in the back and produce tasty treats half of which are gluten free, I skip those (out of all my crazy eating habits, I like my gluten in most baked goods). John goes **gaga** for their Morning Glory muffins (we stopped there this morning in fact and he got a warm one, I never thought much of them until I tried one. WOW! They have the perfect muffin.
The other night I had some extra time on my hands I tried to recreate the Avellino morning glory muffin, which is as John describes them " a bunch of really good things barely held together by the batter." Well I tried the following recipe, it is nowhere near the caliber of muffin that I wanted but never the less it was really tasty. I am still going to try and get closer to the muffin of my dreams, any one have a good recipe?
These muffins have a great shelf life and actually taste better a day after baking, when the flavors have melded. Store them at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to 2 months.
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup Raisins
1 large organic apple, peeled and grated
1 cup (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Sift or whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, and nuts, and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend well.
Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.