Monday, March 26, 2012

Strawberry Cream Muffins

Last week we celebrated my brother getting engaged!  We had dinner at our house, and I made Strawberry and Cream Muffins.  Not sure how I found this on the internet, probably pinterest.  They didn't turn out as pretty as Jane's Sweets.  Her food photos are definitely drool worthy.  Even though they weren't all that pretty, they tasted fantastic.  I'll try this again, and maybe next time they'll come out prettier!  

*for the muffin mix (will make about 12 - 14 regular sized muffins)
-  1 cup of whole milk (we didn't have any so I used 2/3 cup of 2% milk and 1/3 cup of half-and-half)
- 1/2 cup unsalted soft butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup strawberries (the redder the better!) diced into tiny pieces

*for the cream cheese layer
- 4 ounces of cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of an egg that has been lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Begin by heating your oven up to 400º F.  Line your muffin pan with paper liners.  Clean and cut up your fresh strawberries;  set them aside.  

Now mix together the ingredients for the cream cheese layer in a small bowl.  Don't worry if it's a little lumpy, set aside but do not refrigerate.  

Next mix together the muffin batter.  Start with a saucepan on low heat and melt the butter down.  Then add the vanilla and almond extracts, and the milk.  Stir until throughly mixed together.  Remove from heat and let cool, then stir in the eggs.  In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Then make a well in the center of the dry mixture, and pour the ingredients from the saucepan in.  Mix together, but be sure not to over mix.  Again it's okay to have some lumps.  

This is the tricky part.  I always have a hard time with portion, and I think that's why my muffin's aren't as photogenic.  Fill the muffin cups ONLY half way with the muffin batter.  It's better to be a little under halfway then over!  Then drop in a few strawberries.  Now add a tablespoon and a half of the cream cheese mixture.  Top off with the remaining muffin batter and a few more strawberries, but be sure not to overfill!  

Generously sprinkle sugar over the tops just before you stick them in the oven. 

Cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned on the tops, a toothpick through the middle should come out (mostly) clean.  I think I could have left my muffins in for slightly longer, but they were still very tasty.  We ate them straight out of the oven, and the muffins stuck to the paper a bit.  I think some people ate their's with a fork.  

There were a couple left over, and I ate one the next day.  I think it may tasted even better the next day!  Plus, the muffin was no longer sticking to the paper.  

These would be a great thing to make on the weekends, and to take to work for a quick morning breakfast.  Plus your left with a bunch of fresh strawberries, because this recipe barely uses half a pint of strawberries.  I'll have a great suggestion for your left over strawberries in tomorrow's post!