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Madrinha’s Coconut Queijadas (Queijadas de Coco)

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My family, being Portuguese, is rather large by today’s standards.  My father grew up with 7 sisters and a brother and was one of 9 siblings.  This made for great parties growing up! I feel like almost every weekend of my childhood was spent attending a birthday party, baptism, 1st Communion, graduation, Confirmation, holiday celebration or just getting together to get together!  And at every single one of those events my Titia Tina, who would eventually become my Madrinha at my own Confirmation, would make these delectable little treats.  A creamy, crustless, coconut creation that once you try you will wonder what on earth you were doing all your life that you missed out enjoying it.

As I got older, I wondered how she made this family mainstay.  So, I asked time and time again… Her response was always, come on by when I’m making them and I’ll show you.  Well, time never allowed for an in person lesson unfortunately.  But, for my wedding shower, my cousin Stephanie, her daughter, nailed down the recipe with measurements for me and submitted it to be part of my family wedding recipe collection! (which by the way is one of my very favorite ideas for any bridal shower… what a wonderful way to preserve family recipes and memories!)

I was so excited to get the recipe and so I tried it right away… And I was absolutely amazed at just how easy and inexpensive it is! For such a fabulous treat! So, now I am sharing it with all of you. Here’s how we do it…

Start with 4 eggs in a large bowl. My bowl is by Pampered Chef and it has the pour spout (that is ideal!).  Wisk the eggs.

Measure out sugar.

Add sugar in while wisking.

Wisk your eggs and sugar until smooth.

For this recipe margarine is called for, not butter. I have never tried it with butter, but suspect it would be similar if you needed to substitute. Since this is what the recipe calls for and it’s much less expensive, it’s what I use.

You’ll need to melt the butter, so place it in a microwave safe container, in this case I use my handy-dandy Pampered Chef measuring cup and call it a day.

Add in your melted margarine wisking briskly, remember you have eggs in that bowl that can easily cook with still hot liquid.

You should have a creamy consistency after adding in margarine.

Measure out flour.

Add in your first measurement of flour and wisk.

Then your next. And continue wisking.

Add in 1 lemon rind. Be sure it is all in one solid piece like so, you will be removing this before baking.

You want to incorporate the lemon right into your batter.

Measure out your milk… I am using that same Pampered Chef 2-cup measuring cup so it still has some of the margarine in it, those are the yellow specks you can see.

Now add in your milk.

Once you have a nice smooth consistency, You are ready for the coconut.

Measure out your sweetened coconut. I’ve never tried unsweetened coconut in this recipe, but if you want to reduce the sugar content, I suppose this is where you might do that.

Spray your pan with cooking spray. This recipe is not made with cupcake liners.

In my madrinha’s recipe she suggests pouring your batter into a measuring cup with a spout to pour batter into the muffin tin… If you don’t have a handy-dandy spouted measuring bowl, definitely do this.

Fill each compartment about 3/4 of the way up.

As you are pouring your lemon peel will surface, be sure to pull it out and discard, it has done its job.

Once filled, you want to place pan in a pre-heated oven at 375°F for 20-30 mins. depending on your oven… it could go as far as 40 mins if they aren’t browning. When you come to 20 mins or so, turn on your oven light and take a peek, try not to open your oven if you can avoid it. You will be looking for a nice sunny golden brown.

Allow to cool once out of the oven.

Notice how it is “puffed up” right now and the center has not fallen… this is because it just came out of the oven and it is much too soon to remove it from the muffin tin.

Scoop each one out with a large soup spoon so you don’t dent the bottom edges taking it out of the pan. As you can see, the centers have now fallen with the cooling and they are looking perfect.

And this is what each little gem will look like when you place it on your serving platter.

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Madrinha’s Coconut Queijadas (Queijadas de Coco)

Yields: 2 1/2 – 3 dozen

Ingredients:

4 cups of whole milk

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 stick margarine, melted

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 lemon rind

cooking spray

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, wisk eggs.  Add in sugar, wisk.  Add in margarine slowly while wisking briskly. Add in flour and lemon rind and continue to wisk.  Next, add in milk while slowing wisking.  Lastly, add in coconut and slowly mix into the batter.

Spray a 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray (if you have 3 muffin tins, this would be ideal).  Fill each 3/4 up with batter.  Bake 20-30 minutes until lightly golden brown.  You want to check your oven starting at 20 minutes utilizing your oven light, not opening your oven.  It may go as far as 40 minutes depending on your oven (ie. gas vs. electic).

Allow to cool before removing from tin.  Each queijada will be puffy when first coming out of the oven, they will fall as they cool in the center.  Place each in a cupcake liner and then onto your serving platter.

Enjoy!