Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Strawberry Muffins

Check out my new kitchen workspace!

NH's new desk arrived so I was able to requisition this table from the office. It was in my childhood room before the wedding and we've been using it as a desk for the past year. We'll be purchasing a freestanding kitchen island soon; until then, this nice table will serve as my 'island.' I don't care that it's a little low to work comfortably; look at the added space! I have a place to put my cookbook holder and my knife block. My favorite cutting board is in use again; it's too big for a lot of spaces and has been living in a corner for the past year. Hurray for its return!

I was dying to bake for the inauguration of my new workspace. I wanted to do something summery with the wonderful frozen strawberries I had. I'm a huge fan of frozen fruit- it's such good quality these days and I can bake when the fruit is off season. I especially like peaches and strawberries for this, since their seasons are short and good specimens can be rare; I prefer to save the fresh fruit for eating in hand. That being said, you could certainly use fresh strawberries here if you like.

I decided on some strawberry muffins for NH to enjoy for breakfast. As usual I compared a dozen recipes, then schlepped together my own version with what sounds good and what I have in my pantry. I love making muffins and quick breads because they are precisely that: quick and easy to throw together. They can be schlepped together in no time and require very little elbow grease.

Strawberry Muffins

1/4 cup Enova or canola oil

1/2 cup Milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry Flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 cup baking Splenda, or 1/2 cup regular white sugar
1 cup chopped frozen strawberries, slightly thawed

Preheat the oven to 374 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cups, or grease with a bit of oil.

In a small bowl, beat the oil, milk, egg, and vanilla extract together lightly. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the chopped strawberries and toss to coat them with the flour. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.

Bake for about 25 minutes; cool for 10 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

I used whole wheat pastry flour but you could easily use all-purpose. I like to use whole wheat and the pastry flour is lighter than regular WW flour. But it does create a denser crumb so muffins made with all-purpose will be lighter and probably rise a little more. If you like, add a little cinnamon sugar to the tops before baking to create a crusty top.

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