I wish I liked coffee. I really do.
I have this idea that if I liked coffee I’d be more sophisticated. Just a little more glamorous.
If I liked coffee I probably wouldn’t have such a potty mouth. I’d be fresh like driven snow!
If I liked coffee I probably wouldn’t be sitting here in yoga pants and an old Brew Thru tee shirt. I’d be wearing culottes and a jaunty scarf around my neck!
I just think that if I could get behind a morning cup of java, I’d be the best version of myself.
But, alas, I can’t stand the stuff. And I’ve tried!
Instead I prefer to attend business meeting with a 153 oz. fountain soda in hand. Arrive at family functions with a 2 liter tucked in my pocket. Wear my soda love on my sleeve.
What can I say?
Intellectually I know that it’s undignified to slurp out of a bottle or can in polite company, but soda has remained a hold-over comfort from my schooling days and I refuse to give it up.
And now my daily diet soda has taken the place of my childhood security blanket. I feel unprepared without it. Naked until it’s in hand. Mentally verklempt until I’ve started my journey to the bottom of the koozie-protected can (Yes, it’s a Brew Thru koozie and yes, I’m officially a hot mess.).
Why am I telling you this?
Because a friend who believes in my ability to be sophisticated more than she should recently gave me a gift card to, uh, Moonbucks. I went to Moonbucks to redeem said card. I stood, quivering, in front of the Moonbucks barista, trying to decide between tall, dark, blonde, creamed, foamed, sugared, frapped, frozen, flavored…
I gave up and ordered a muffin. It was terrible. An insult to muffins across the land.
I came home. I popped the top of a can of diet soda. I wrote this recipe for a different kind of muffin. One with fresh, ripe mango and a surprising, crunchy center made from white chocolate, pecans and Maria cookies.
I gave up on coffee and Moonbucks for good. I saluted myself with a Mango Lassi Crunch Muffin. And I finished off my diet soda with a smile.
Mango Lassi Crunch Muffins
For the crunch:
1/2 c. white chocolate, melted
1/2 c. Rice Krispies
3/4 c. pecans, whole, finely chopped
3/4 c. Maria cookies, chopped (Nilla wafers or any other simple vanilla cookie may be substituted.)
For the muffins:
1 1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
1 c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. yogurt (I used Greek nonfat plain yogurt here.)
2 c. fresh mango, chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To prepare the crunch, preheat the oven to 250°. Toss the pecan pieces, Rice Krispies and Maria cookie pieces in a small bowl to blend. Add the white chocolate and continue to toss (using a rubber scraper or fork as the chocolate may still be hot) until small clusters form. Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Finished crunch will be slightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, begin preparing the muffin batter by creaming the sugar and oil in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, beating until incorporated.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar, alternating with the yogurt, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and beating until just incorporated. Fold in the mango.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin – you will want to fill each cavity just 1/3 of the way full. Use your hands to gently break up the crunch clusters and spoon one teaspoon over the top of the batter. Top the crunch with approximately one tablespoon more of batter. The crunch does not need to be completely covered but each liner should be filled to its top. Bake for 24-26 minutes – finished muffins will be slightly browned at the edges and golden across the top. Allow muffins to cool slightly before unmolding.
YIELD: approximately 24 muffins