This is a healthy take on the Tahitian coconut breakfast treat called Firi Firi, which is typically fried. My version is baked and rolled in a spicy island sugar mix. —Sue Falk, Sterling Heights, Michigan
Tahitian Breakfast Treats Recipe photo by The musical "Waitress"
Add yeast to warm water and stir to dissolve; allow to sit until yeast has bubbled, 5-7 minutes. Add yeast mixture to warm coconut milk. In a large bowl, combine coconut, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 1 cup flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough (dough will be sticky). Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 8 portions. Roll each into a 12-in. rope. Curl ends in opposite directions to form a figure 8. Tuck each end under where it meets center of roll and pinch lightly to seal. Place 2 in. apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Bake until light brown, 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, place sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a shallow bowl. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape seeds from the center; stir into sugar mixture. Brush warm pastries with melted butter; roll in sugar mixture to coat.
Test Kitchen tips
If you choose to fry: heat oil to 375°F, and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Omit the butter step and roll in sugar mixture. Serve warm.
Add chopped crystalized ginger to the dough when adding the flaked coconut.
Try drizzling with a glaze! Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons dark rum and 2 tablespoons melted butter.