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Friday, September 30, 2011

Strawberries and Cream Mini Muffins

It has been much too long since my last post!

I wish I could say that I've studied the art of photography and the photos that I post will no longer look like they were taken in the dark.  Maybe someday.

It's not that I haven't been cooking dinner.  I just haven't cooked anything new that hasn't already been included in this blog!

This week I've made Chicken Pot Pie , Chicken Piccata , and Lemon-Marinated Chicken Sandwiches (the latter of which I'm happy to say has finally been edited to include pictures)!

I'll get my act together soon, I promise.

Erin's been baking.

Lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

There were plenty of strawberries left over, so I put them to good use and made muffins.

Today's Playlist
  • "Buddy Holly".........Weezer
  • "Animal"........Neon Trees
  • "Re-Education (Through Labor)".........Rise Against
  • "Santeria"........Sublime
  • "It Goes On and On".......The Avett Brothers
  • "Runaround"........Blues Traveler
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket".......Cake
  • "Beverly Hills"........Weezer
  • "Sins Of My Youth"..........Neon Trees
  • "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".......George Harrison

Strawberries and Cream Mini Muffins   (From Nigella Lawson)
  • 1 cup strawberries, slightly under ripe, diced into quarter-inch pieces
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Gather your ingredients.

  Line a 24-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups ( I chose to use foil cups.  I'm like that, you know.  I'm a lone wolf.  I never follow.  This will not be the only time I deviate, I promise).

Dice your strawberries.  I sliced them about 1/4" thick.......

........then piled the slices up..........

.......and criss-crossed diced them.

'Til I slaughtered 'em all.

You will notice that the recipe calls for slightly under-ripe strawberries.  This was not explained, but I'm guessing that you need under-ripe strawberries for their firmness.  Easier to dice, not mushy and probably hold up better when baked.  I'm guessing.

Not a problem when buying supermarket strawberries in New England in September.  They are all under-ripe.

Put diced strawberries into a bowl, spritz lemon juice on them and stir gently to combine. ( I took a lemon half , squeezed it over the strawberries, maybe used a tablespoon of juice.)

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour.....


........and baking powder.

Whisk to combine.

In a small bowl, beat together oil, sour cream..........


........and egg.

After you've beaten (or in my lone wolf case, whisked).........

.........pour the mixture over the dry ingredients.

Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  I didn't deviate here.  I used a wooden spoon.  There must be a reason.  

Fold in the strawberries.

Like this.

Divide batter evenly among the cups in the mini-muffin tin.  I used a heaping tablespoon to fill each cup.

I went off the reservation and took out my large-crystal sugar and sprinkled it on top of the muffins.  I like a little crunch on top of my muffins. 

Now they're ready to bake.  Place in your preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until a cake tester (or in my lone wolf case, a toothpick) comes out clean.

(For the record, Nigella recommends lightly dusting the muffins with powdered sugar, by shaking a sieve with a teaspoon of powdered sugar over the muffins after they have cooled.)

Place tin on a wire rack and leave for 5 minutes.  Take out the muffins and continue cooling them in the paper cups on the wire rack.  

Or you could just put them on a plate, like I did.

Or you could eat them while they're still warm, like I did.

I have to give credit to Nigella Lawson.  Thank you, Nigella, this recipe is a keeper!


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