Wednesday, June 30, 2010

strawberry crazy!

Last week I had the pleasure of going strawberry picking with my friend Melissa and her baby Imogen (the best baby on earth).  We planned this outing because I had asked Melissa (an experienced jam maker) to teach me how to make jam.  So, on Tuesday we picked the berries, prepared them, and on Wednesday I went over and we finished it up.  So yummy and rewarding.  I love learning how to make things that most people would buy.

Since the picking, I made strawberry shortcake cookies (via Martha Stewart), and vanilla bean poundcake (to become strawberry shortcake), and some strawberry-peach cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting.  I'm still working on getting this whole food photography thing down - needless to say my cookies looked very unappetizing and I forgot my camera for the shortcake.  I quickly snapped this photo of the cupcakes as I was heading out the door to the birthday party I made them for.  Not the best, but the best of what I had.

The recipe for the cupcakes was adapted from The Cupcake Calendar.  My friend Meaghan got it for me for my birthday.  I love it.  I have it on my desk at work to make my cubicle more "me".  The original recipe is for whole wheat peach muffins.

Strawberry-Peach Cupcakes
makes about 4 dozen minis

2 cups drained canned peaches
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 lightly beaten egg
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strawberries (cut fairly small)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin.
2. Purée the peaches.  In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, beat the egg, oil, and milk with an electric mixer until combined.  Stir in the peach purée, then add the flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in straberries.
4. Bake for 9 minutes (for minis).  Remove pan and cool.
5. Frost with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) - softened
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
mix of icing sugar and brown sugar

Whisk together butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Add sugar until it tastes good. (Honestly, this is my method).  I never mesure the sugar...just keep tasting it and adding until it looks and tastes good.  These cupcakes were delicious and a big hit at the party.

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