spicy coconut flakes
A while ago I was walking down Smith St. in Brooklyn and noticed a new shop called the Nutbox. The store is loaded with, you guessed it, nuts, but also all sorts of dried goods, like fruit, spices and even candy. I was a little apprehensive about it at first because I’m a big fan of Sahadi’s, but after poking around a bit, I think there’s room for both. Even if you don’t live in Brooklyn, you can be tempted by their goodies on here.
One of the things I just couldn’t resist was a bag of coconut flakes. They were just so dang pretty and knew I could find something to do with. Then, as fate would have it, I was listening to the Splendid Table and Lynne Rossetto Kasper was rattling off all sorts of things to do with coconut. One of her suggestions was to mix chili pepper, salt, sugar and coconut flakes and then bake them. I thought it sounded pretty genius, and tasty of course. So when I got home I pulled out my bag of coconut and spices. Kasper didn’t give an exact recipe, so I just kind of rolled with it and created my own little recipe.
The whole shebang was ready in just 10 minutes, from pulling the ingredients out of the pantry to pulling the coconut out of the oven. I absolutely love the result! The coconut gets nice and golden, but it’s the first thing you taste, giving a nice cool crunch. Then the salt and spice hits your tongue and it’s just the perfect contrast. And let me tell you, these little puppies are addictive! They’re a great midday snack when you just need a little pick-me-up. I’m already thinking about new ways to use them, like maybe as a topping on a piece of toast with a little ricotta on it. Yummmm, I can’t wait to try it out. But until then, I’ll keep snacking on the crispy goodness just as it is.
spicy coconut flakes
makes 2 cups
2 cups coconut flakes (preferably thick cut, like these)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350°
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until coconut is completely covered.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread coconut in an even layer.
Bake for 3-5 minutes, until golden.