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 Taste of Home
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1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm coconut milk (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup butter, melted
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.