Happy Tuesday! Yes, that's what I am calling today. I really don't really enjoy this holiday. In the sixth grade, one boy asked another boy to ask me to be his Valentine. Then, my supposed Valentine never spoke to me again. It was not cool.
Actually, let's be fair. I have never enjoyed this holiday...until now. I like who I'm with. I like him more than I dislike this holiday. I like him more than I hate Stamos. That's a lot! Also, I've chosen to look at today as "Grateful For All Of The Stuff I Love Day." So, to continue, I heart Sylvapotamus and The Swell Season and my family and this blog and baking andandand...
Enough cheese for you yet? No? Ok then. Let's make Lemon Cream Cheese Coconut Bread. That should do it!
Lemon Cream Cheese Coconut Bread (makes one mother of a loaf)
For the bread
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)
1 tablespoon of lemon zest (about the zest of one lemon...see how that all worked out?)
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
For the filling
3/4 cup sweetened toasted coconut flakes (Lay these out on a baking sheet and toast in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes. Boom. Toasted.)
3 ounces of softened cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
3 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar
For the optional glaze that I could live without (and, in fact, did live without)
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons of milk
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease up a 8x4" loaf pan. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and eggs at medium speed. When it's creamy, beat in the milk, lemon juice and zest. Then stir in your flour, baking powder and salt until combined. I'd recommend stirring in the dry ingredients by hand, especially if you're trying to surprise the person you're making this for and that person happens to live with you. Your kitchen might look like that scene from Scarface if you attempt to use the mixer. You get me?
Now, let's work on the filling. Make sure to set aside about two tablespoons of the coconut, which will (spoiler alert) appear later in the story. Mix the rest of the coconut with the cream cheese and sugar until fully combined.
Now, pour half of your lemon batter into your loaf pan. Evenly spoon the cream cheese mixture onto it, then pour the remaining batter over to cover. Let this bake in your oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top is a deep, golden brown. Let this one cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove it and let it cool completely.
At this point, you can make the glaze if you want to. Since I was making this as part of a Happy Tuesday Ambush Breakfast, I thought the glaze would be overkill. I'd actually tried it and did not love it, so decided to simply sprinkle my reserved coconut atop the bread. Mother of Blog, I think I made the right move.