Puto

Puto (Philippine Rice Muffins)

2 cups rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1 can (14 oz ) coconut milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated coconut for topping (optional)
20 individual aluminum foil cupcake/muffin cups or puto molds

Sift first four dry ingredients together. In a mixing bowl, add coconut milk and vanilla to sifted ingredients and blend well to make a smooth mixture. Mix and blend thoroughly and fill muffin cups or molds 2/3 full. Cook in a steamer for 30 minutes. Test for doneness. Muffins are done when toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve topped with grated coconut if desired.

Notes: I used a three tier electric steamer. I only used the bottom two tiers. I kept the lid on for the full 30 minutes and then removed lid carefully to avoid water on the inside of the lid from dripping on the muffins. It is common to add food coloring for a more festive look. Recipe comes from www.asiarecipe.com.

Puto Variations:

Traditional Puto - Replace vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon anise seeds. May also need to add a couple tablespoons of water to keep batter from getting too dry.

Traditional Pandan Puto - Replace vanilla extract with Pandan extract. (Can be found in Asian food stores.) Normally turns to a green color.

Traditional Ube Puto - Replace vanilla extract with Ube extract. (Can be found in Asian food stores.) Normally turns to a purple color.

Chocolate Puto - Replace vanilla extract with a couple tablespoons of chocolate syrup to batter. (Hershey’s brand is good.) Will turn batter to a pretty brown.

Strawberry Puto - Replace vanilla extract with a couple tablespoons of strawberry syrup to batter. (Hershey’s brand is good.) Will turn batter to a pretty pink.

Banana Puto - Replace vanilla extract with 1/3 to 1/2 of a fresh banana & tablespoon of water blended in a blender. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to batter for pretty yellow puto.

Other festive looks - Add  sprinkles to top of baked plain putos; red & green for Christmas, purple & yellow for Easter, multi-colors for parties and/or birthdays, etc.