So, last week was my daughter's birthday, and as I was making her cupcakes, I wondered why muffins usually have liquid oil as the fat. I decided that I wanted to make muffins using softened butter instead oil. Why? It just seemed like a healthier alternative. So, I made these last Sunday with the berries I bought at the market. They are delicious, and look beautiful too, as you can see from the photo. For this recipe, I would recommend using paper liners, as well as greasing the top of the muffin tin.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (can use less if you like less sweet)
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond or lemon extract (optional)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
a couple Tbsp course or large grain sugar
Preheat overn to 375 degrees. Prepare your muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.
In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Beat in the vanilla and almond (optional) extract. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with milk, mixing gently to combine after each mixture using a large fork or whisk. Do not overmix. One combined, add 2 cups of the strawberries and gently mix so that the batter doesn't turn pink.
Scoop the batter into muffin tin. Each muffin should be almost filled to the top. Use remaining strawberries to top muffins. Then, top each muffin with course or large grain sugar.
Bake for approximately 22-30 minutes. Start checking at 22 minutes...muffins are finished with they spring back to the touch and you can test for doneness using a knife or toothpick. Let muffins cool in pain about 10 minutes before removing. These are amazing served warm with butter, but they also freeze well to be eaten later.
A classic kid favorite, without all the artificial ingredients. This one is SUPER easy but takes a little bit of time. So be sure to plan it on an afternoon or evening when you won't be needing your oven for anything else.
Fresh strawberries (about a quart)
honey (to taste)
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Then, you'll want to clean your strawberries and remove the stems. Next blend them up in the blender until they are completely pureed. Add honey to taste. You want the puree to be more sweet than sour, but not overly so. Then, line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and strawberry puree onto the paper. Using a spatula, spread evenly on the paper. Pop in the oven and bake for about 4 hours. (Yes, FOUR hours.) depending upon your oven, it may take a little less or a little more time. You'll know it's finished when the puree feels solid and tacky but not sticky and wet. Once it's done, pull it out of the oven and let it cool completely. Once cooled,I like to trim off all the jagged edges to make it look pretty and you have a perfect rectangle. Then, you simply roll up the parchment paper with the strawberry leather on the inside. Then using kitchen scissors, cut into about 1 inch rolls. My kids LOVE these and they will last in a Ziploc bag for about a week.
Still have strawberries left after the other two recipes? Here's a great way to use up the rest for a healthy treat that everyone will love. Simply blend up your leftover strawberries. You can add honey to sweeten, or banana, or orange juice, or lemonade. There are so many variations. Pour into a popsicle mold and freeze until solid. Plain strawberries with a drop of honey is like eating summer!
Written by: Val Creager