Baked Strawberries

It’s April.  In Wisconsin.  In some places that means spring.  Here it means we go outside in shorts and t-shirts in 40-degree weather.

 

I’m done with winter.  It snowed today.  On April 1st.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love the snow.  I love winter.  I am a Wisconsin girl through and through.  But enough is enough.  I’m ready for outdoor farmer’s markets and hammocks and vegetable gardens.

 

I bought some strawberries at the grocery store last weekend.  

Strawberries

 

They were not perfect, juicy, ripe summer strawberries, but they’re still lovely little signs of spring.

 

 

 

After I bought these lovely strawberries I ran out of things to do.  I got bored.  So, I decided to make some cupcakes.  I’m on a bit of a cupcake kick these days.   These cupcakes that I made up on a whim were quite frankly, delicious.  They were like little baked bits of spring.  It was exactly what I was hoping for on a cold spring morning.

 

I think even my dogs are wishing for spring.  My 18-pound puggle keeps refusing to come in when the sun is out, even when he starts shivering.

 

Ok, back to cupcakes.  My husband called these baked strawberries. 

 

Baked_strawberries

He said they are more like strawberries then they are like cupcakes.  This is a good thing.

 

After making these cupcakes, I would change one thing.  The cake is perfect, the frosting is divine, but a bit of fresh strawberry puree in the middle of the cupcake would have been simply amazing.   Enough talk, lets eat some cupcakes.

 

Baked Strawberries


·      A note on this recipe:  I decided I wanted a small batch of cupcakes.  So I quartered my stand-by cupcake batter.  The measurements are odd and small, but it makes 24 mini cupcakes perfectly.  So stick to the small amounts or double it, or even quadruple it.

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/3 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 stick plus 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup pureed strawberries

1/4 cup chopped strawberries

 

Directions

 

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 12-cup mini cupcake muffin tins with baking cups.

 

2.     Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Stir milk and vanilla in another small bowl.  Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.  Add sugar slowly while mixing.  Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each addition.  Scrape bowl and beat until smooth.

 

3.     Reduce speed and slowly add 1/3 of flour mixture.  Alternate adding milk mixture and flour mixture until all ingredients added.   Add pureed and chopped strawberries.

 

4.     Divide batter among muffin tins.  Using a small cookie scoop is the easiest way to do this, filling each cup with one level scoop.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 14 minutes.  Cool completely.  Fill center with more strawberry puree using a squeeze bottle if desired.  Frost with strawberry cream cheese frosting once strawberry center has set for a few minutes.

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting


            Ingredients

 

8 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4  cup pureed strawberries

 

            Directions

 

1.     Beat cream cheese in a mixer on medium speed with paddle attachment until smooth.  Add butter and beat until light and fluffy.

 

2.     Reduce speed to low, add 2 cups of sugar slowly, beat until light and fluffy.  Add strawberry puree and mix until smooth.  Continue to add sugar until frosting has reached desired thickness.

 

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