Strawberry Delight Muffins

These muffins are lovely and light and oh so tasty–perfect muffins to go with slices of delicate strawberries for the summer.  

There’s not really all that  much else to write except for the recipe…..

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Strawberry Delight Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 6 ozs Greek Yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 2 ozs fat-free Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1&1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or 2 large eggs)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1&1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped small

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Place liners in muffin tin and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together the yogurt, sour cream, butter and sugar. Then add the Egg Beaters, milk, vanilla and strawberry extract.  Stir until  combined-being careful to not over-mix. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
  5. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Continue adding the dry ingredients in increments and mixing. Do not over mix.   Gently fold in the fresh strawberries.
  6. Fill the liners in the muffin tin to about 3/4 of the way full and bake for about 23-28 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10-15 minutes then remove the muffins from the tin and place onto a cooling rack.

Yield: about 18-20 muffins.  I made 12 muffins and froze the remainder of the batter to use another time.

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Greatly adapted from the Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins from http://www.bos-bowl.com

Roasted Strawberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

I know, I know.  You’re thinking “Ah the ubiquitous strawberry salad”. You’re thinking of those sad restaurant ones that every chain place has that are so sad-a few strawberries, a bit of spinach, sweetened up nuts, maybe a little cheese and a vinaigrette.  It’s insulting to the strawberries if you ask me.  Those are NOT this salad. I wanted better.  I wanted it to be more my way.  After roasting rhubarb for (this recipe) dessert a while ago I got to thinking-why not roast strawberries for the salad? Why not have both roasted and fresh strawberries in the salad? 2 different versions. Yum!  Feel free to up or less as you please-the amounts below are just how much I used. You like more cheese? Be my guest! I’ll never think badly of  anyone who wants to add more cheese. Dont’ like nuts? Perhaps some carrot or celery or crisp apple to replace the crunch. So I hope you love it. It certainly put a new spin on this for me.

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Roasted Strawberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, patted dry, tops removed, cut in halves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • sprinkle freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed and patted dry

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup whole fresh raspberries, washed and gently patted dry
  • 4 strawberry halves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (to taste)
  • a pinch or 2 of sugar if needed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Take half of the strawberries and lay them on half of the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar.  With your hands move them around a bit to make sure they’re all olive oiled.
  3. On the other half of the baking sheet place the walnuts.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Let them cool.
  5. While they are cooling make the dressing. Add all ingredients above to a bowl and use a stick blender to combine. Add more or less honey depending on the tartness of the raspberries and strawberries. If it’s still too tart a sprinkle of sugar should be added.
  6. Assemble the salad starting with the spinach then half of the roasted and fresh strawberries, half of the walnuts, half of the cheese and dressing as desired.

Makes 2 servings.

See? The walnuts and strawberries are happy to roast together.

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Pretty Pink Strawberry Sugar Cookies

I’ve recently joined a great group of girls who take part in a monthly baking challenge.  This month’s theme is ‘sprinkles’.   Jen at www.beantownbaker.com hosted the challenge. Check out everyone’s dishes here.  

Recently I had seen a recipe online or in a magazine with sugar cookes that had a few different shades of pink for the cookie and different pink and white sprinkles. I believe they were also strawberry flavored (unless that was a different cookie). At any rate these are now a combination of those cookies. They were so darn cute! So I used what I recalled of those for my inspiration.

Generally I use the drop liquid kind of food coloring but I guess that’s not made in pink because when I went to the craft store the guy told me that I’d have to get the gel and to only use a tiny bit at first. Boy was he right! It also helped me a great deal that Husband had given me some surgical gloves recently. They were fantastic to use as none of the coloring or bits of dough were stuck to my hands after. If you can find some-use them.

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Pretty Pink Strawberry Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks usalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup super-fine* sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp strawberry flavoring
  • 2&1/2 cups AP flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • assorted sprinkles and pink gel coloring

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the egg and strawberry flavoring and mix well.  Set aside.
  4. In another bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture, a bit at a time and incorporate fully, a little at a time.  If the dough is too moist add a tad more flour and combine. The dough should be soft but able to be rolled easily in the hand and not stick to your fingers when pressed.
  6. On a lightly dusted board roll the dough into a log. Divide into sections. 1 section for each color dough you’re going to make. I ended up with 3 (pic 1 below).
  7. Take the first section of dough and add the coloring, a tiny bit at a time, folding the dough over itself and then rotating to distribute color, until the desired color is achieved.  Repeat for the remaining sections. Wrap each section in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the first section of dough from the fridge. Pinch off a small amount and roll into a 1.5 inch ball. Roll the ball in the sprinkles you want to use and then place the ball on the prepared baking sheet.  Place about 1.5 inches apart. Repeat until the cookie sheet is full.
  9. Using the bottom of a drinking glass with about a 2 inch diameter, gently press down the cookies until they’re all the same 2 inch diameter.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Remove from oven, set aside to cool and then place gently on cooling wracks.

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* to make super-fine sugar put granulated sugar in a food processor and process until super fine.

I had this recipe for the cookies in my huge binder of recipies I’ve printed out over the years. I have no idea where it came from.

WB

Risotto alla fragola (Strawberry Risotto)

If you’re thinking ‘what the……?’ when you read the name of this dish you’re not alone. I thought the same thing when I first read it. Who puts strawberries in risotto? But you know what-it’s GOOD!! If today is the first time you’re hearing about this then today is your lucky day!!!

The original recipe for this came from one of my favorite cookbooks Twelve.  I kept seeing this recipe and I got curiouser and curiouser (yes-like Alice) about it. So I finally made it a few months ago and could’ve kicked myself for waiting so long.  So I made it again last night. How delicious. How unique. It’s a touch onion-y from the shallots cooked in butter, a bit nutty from the parmesan, a bit tart and sweet from the strawberries and the brandy adds an underlying flavor that compliments it all and it’s creamy and yummy.  I’ve adapted it a bit from the original recipe so here we go…..

 

Risotto alla fragola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock or water (try to use stock)
  • 1 1/2 oz butter
  • 1 medium shallot,  chopped very finely
  • 145 g (5oz) or about 6-8 ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered plus 3 more small strawberries (or 2 medium ones) cut into smaller pieces (into 8ths) for garnish
  • 3 tbsp good quality brandy
  • 1/2 lb aborio (risotto) rice
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan plus extra for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the stock in a large saucepan and keep it on a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, saute the shallot on low heat until it has softened and then add half of the strawberries. Cook gently for a couple of minutes and then add the brandy.  When it has evaporated add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat all the rice.   Season with salt and pepper and add a ladleful of stock, stirring almost continuously to prevent the rice from sticking.
  3. When the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid add another ladleful and continue stirring.  Make sure you move all of the rice at the bottom of the pan.  Continue stirring and adding stock for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is soft yet firm and the texture is creamy and slightly liquid. 
  4. Add the remaining strawberries, the butter and the parmesan cheese and stir. Ladle into a bowl, top with extra parmesan and a few of the strawberries you set aside for the garnish.
  5. Helpful hints: don’t make this when you will have to stop stirring to attend to something else. Give yourself a full 30 minutes to make this from start to finish. Don’t worry if you have one more or less strawberry, it will still turn out fantastic. It’s pretty simple really.  Just ladle and stir ladle and stir. Fear not the risotto!!!

This recipe was included in a great list of fresh strawberry recipies. See the list from What’s Cookin’ Chicago here.