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Friday, May 11, 2012

“Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXXVII: Coconut-Date Muffins—an Old-Time Favorite dusted off and given New Life by the Hooter” by Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein

We continue offering the discography of one of the all-time great San Francisco bands: HOT TUNA!  Their NINETEENTH album—“Classic Hot Tuna Acoustic”—was released in 1996 and is a phenomenal live album featuring all of the great classics throughout their fabulous career!  We love this CD and urge you to go to Amazon.com where you’ll definitely want to buy it NOW!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.  


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 225 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein

END Commentary 05-12-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,932.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, May 12, 2012 by Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein


 Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Pt. XXXVII: Coconut-Date Muffins—an Old-Time Favorite dusted off and given New Life by the Hooter” by Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein

Bakersfield, CA, 05-12-2012 S: Tomorrow is Mother’s Day so I do hope that all of you are prepared and have gone out and bought Mom a lovely present! It’s important that you get out there and buy something now before it’s too late—and if you ask me, it’s too late now!  You need to go to the beverlycarrick.com website and buy a painting now for Mom so she will know that you love her dearly and that you want to make her the happiest woman on the face of the earth. She has so many fantastic paintings, let me tell you: she has landscapes, seascapes, mountains, canyons (that’s what we’ve been offering now for the past week or so), still-life, cats, birds, floral arrangements, scenes of Bakersfield, balloons, you name it, and she’s painted it.  The fact that so many different things are available whether they be an original oil painting or a giclees or a canvass transfer or a print, or a miniature, or even a photograph—it’s all there available for you to come get it now.  Just go there, browse the site, find something you want, and order it, it’ll ship within 3-4 days and will be at your door within 7-10 days. Let me tell you this: there is nothing in this world like a Beverly Carrick original, it’s the gift that keeps on saying for the rest of that person’s life: “I love you” and what’s even better: the resale value is higher than the purchase price so it’s a great investment!

Today, we are going to make one of those classic muffins from the so-called golden age of baking when dried fruits were the norm and people enjoyed raisins, dates, currants, apricots, you name it, they enjoyed it.  We are going to make a luscious muffin today, Coconut-Date Muffins, they’re among my best recipes and are ones you’ll cherish forever—like a Beverly Carrick painting!—yes indeed! I love working with dates, they’re tasty, nutritious, and sure to please everyone as many people nowadays have no idea what the heck they are.  Here we go:


Dates aren’t seen a great deal nowadays as they seem to be one of those popular dried fruits from the time of my grandparents or farther back.  Still, dates are very tasty as well as nutritious and make lovely baked goods.  When combined with tender sweet flake coconut, they are amazing and this muffin recipe is among my best.

Yield:  about 12 medium-size muffins (.25-cup)  / Mis-en-place: 1.25 hours:

All-purpose flour

Cake flour

Baking powder

Baking soda


Ground nutmeg

Ground cloves

Shredded sweetened coconut `

Chopped dates

Large AAA egg

Granulated sugar

Vegetable oil


Vanilla extract

Coconut extract

Maple extract

The Finish:
Coconut milk

Powdered sugar

Torani’s coconut syrup

Vanilla extract

Shredded coconut


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! The first thing to do is to prepare the muffin pans: in the professional bakery, we use ONLY reflective stainless steel or aluminum muffin pans, bake ware, and anything else for our products as reflective materials do just that: reflect heat away rather than absorb it.  This leaves our finished products tender of crumb and without crusty or over-browned sides and/or tops.  This is important so NEVER use dark bake ware. 

2.      Anyhow, spray 12 muffin cups, .25-cup size, with PAM or with some such other food release spray and then line with paper or aluminum baking cups.  Spray the cups as well as the tops of the pan, too, so that the muffins will be de-panned easily and the paper will pull off without taking part of the baked muffin away with it; set the pans aside. 

3.      You can prepare the “Finish,” too, by combining the coconut milk with the powdered sugar and the two flavorings, blending well, and then setting aside.  You can have the coconut ready or, if you want to really knock them dead, color it in several different bowls of food colors and then after 10-20 minutes, drain and dry it; this will be marvelous when placed on top of the baked muffins.

4.      Now, double-sift the first SEVEN items together and then stir in the coconut and the dates; set aside.  Then, place the egg in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat it with the paddle attachment until light and airy.  Add the sugar, beating well, and cream the mixture together at medium-high speed; finally, add the oil and continue beating for another 40-50 seconds and then stop.

5.      Add the liquid and the flavorings and then when well-blended, fold the DRY ingredients into the WET using enough rotations to blend the batter together but not overmixing, just blend it together until it’s somewhat lumpy but don’t worry—the lumps will bake out during the cooking time.  Overmixing will overdevelop the gluten making the muffins chewy and not quite as soft as we’d like.  Always pay attention to this as it’s important to have muffins closer to cupcake texture rather than bread texture.

6.      Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes; during this time, preheat your standard oven to 400°F or your convection oven—fan “on”—to 350°F. When time’s up and the batter has firmed up, remove it and remove the plastic wrap and stir it with a spatula, taking care to scrape the sides the best you can.

7.      Next, scoop it into the prepared muffin cups, filling them right up to the rims and then shake the pan to settle it.  At this point—if you want—sprinkle them a bit more granulated sugar to give them an even sweeter flavor and an attractive oven-glaze.  Place the pan on the middle oven rack and bake for 18-20 minutes; at the end of this time, check them by testing the middle row with a paring knife or a cake tester: stick it into the center of each and withdraw it.  If it comes out clean, they’re done and if not, they still need to bake 2-4 minutes longer. Remember, however that if they’re ALMOST done, pull them out because they’ll finish baking in the pan for a minute or so longer.

8.      When done, pull them out and place the pan atop a wire cooking rack atop a drip pan underneath the rack.  After 1-2 minutes, gently rap the pan and then with the help of a paring knife if need be, de-pan them and place them at a tilt in the pan and continue the cooling process.  After 3-4 minutes, remove the muffin pan entirely and place the individual muffins atop the cooling rack.

9.      Stir up the sugar glaze and drizzle it over each one of them using a swirling motion to give them a ribbony-sugar glazed effect and immediately as you do so, gently press some of the (colored) coconut atop each one and then they’re ready to serve.

10. Leftovers need to be plastic-wrapped and then stored in a freezer Zip-Loc bag.  They’re okay to leave out for one day at room temperature but then after that, they need to be frozen rather than refrigerated as the fridge tends to dry our baked goods out.  The freezer is better and they can be defrosted or reheated in the microwave to the desired temperature.  It’s best to use freshly-baked goods as soon as possible because unlike the professional bakeries, we don’t have preservatives to keep them fresh beyond their natural shelf-life.

This is a great recipe, one that was very popular at the place in which I was employed back in the 1980’s; there, I did all of the baking and tried a great many different combinations and different muffin batters, all too great effect.  This is a very delicious muffin and for those who love either dates or coconut—or both for that matter—it’s a dream-come-true! 


As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

Again, I want to stress the need for shopping for MOM this week before Sunday rolls around and Mother’s Day is upon YOU.  It is important to go to Beverly Carrick’s Website, the greatest American artist ever to have lived and worked in the nation and buy something fabulous for your Mom.  There are original oils, canvass transfers, giclees, prints, even photographs and miniatures available in her gift shop.  She is the most beloved modern American artist of all times and has surpassed stalwarts like Robert Wood among others.  It is important to give the gift of fine art, to make Mom melt with happiness when you bring home a lovely painting like the one advertised today: #1329, a beautiful 24” x 36” original oil painting, “Yucca Canyon,” before it’s too late and it’s sold! She has so many wonderful paintings and what’s more: Leanin’ Tree greeting cards carry a full line of Beverly Carrick-imaged cards for every holiday.  Contact your local Hallmark™ Shoppe, bookstore, gift shop, and any other place that carries beautiful cards to send and pick up a special one for your mom! DO IT NOW! TOMORROW IS MOTHER’S DAY!                

   Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by HOT TUNA and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Elmer K. Hootenstein

Elmer K. Hootenstein

CWC, ACF, the Golden State Chefs’ Association


This is me in a group shot that was a collage on a chef's magazine cover from the 1980's. The actual picture of me was taken in the mid 1970's when I was working as a Food and Beverage Director at a hotel in Fresno, California. I later came to Washington State where I met Stinkbug in the WSCA. We've been friends ever since.


The END Commentary for Saturday, May 12, 2012 by Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein

Recipe created by Chef Elmer K. “the Hooter” Hootenstein on September 19, 1986 in Los Angeles, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!



This is #1330 a 9” x 12" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Rocky Gorge." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!




Magnolia Hilltop Brewers and What's Cookin' Productions Trademark of Quality and Symbol of Integrity. Copyright 05-04-2012, all rights reserved. No unauthorized reproductions of any of this material are permissible unless granted by written permission. Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.

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The Hooter, Classic Quickbreads and Muffins, Muffins, Quickbreads, Bakery Recipes, Hot Tuna, Classic Bakery Recipes, Food Cost, Gourmet Baking, The Bakery, Baked Goods, Coconut, Specialty Flours, Dates,

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The Hooter

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