Ahh….the first, albeit distant hint of spring is in the air! At least I want to think so! Yes, I did enjoy the snow fall we had just last week, but this sunshine and warm temps are making me want to spring forward to the warm weather!
Today was a gorgeous day! Lots of sunshine flooding the house and it is almost too warm to have the pellet stove running! At times like this, my mind wanders aimlessly about the multitude of possibilities to create something wonderful and delicious. I had totally delicious, caramely baked sweet potato, two pounds of gorgeous, juicy, vibrant red strawberries, especially with tons of actual ripe fruit flavor, lots of flour and yeast and other basic baking must haves.
So, I decided to whip up two totally different recipes….Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins (yes, had to use up some leftover cream cheese too) and sweet potato yeast bread! Yum! First up…..THE muffins!
There are three parts to this recipe from Patty’s Food. I made couple of modifications by replacing half the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, reducing the amount of sugar to less than 1/2 cup and replacing half the flour in the streusel topping with old-fashioned oats.
These muffins are super delicious. Because of the whole wheat in them, they are not as airy as regular muffins, but the flavor of the berries and the subtle citrus flavor from the cheesecake filling are more than enough to want to indulge in another one! And maybe you should!
For the muffin batter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (or less granulated sugar)
1/4 cup oil
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup 1% or 2 % milk
2 cups diced sweet strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cheesecake filling
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
grated rind of 1/2 lime or lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons beaten egg (from above)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the streusel topping
2 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons rolled oats
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tray with paper liners and set aside.
2. Prepare streusel topping by combining all the ingredients till they are crumbly. Set aside.
3. Prepare the cheesecake filling by thoroughly combining all the ingredients. Set aside.
4. Begin the preparation of the muffin batter by sifting all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
5. Combine egg, oil, milk and vanilla.
6. Add the dry ingredients to wet mix and gently fold to combine. Do not over mix.
7. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each of the muffin wells. Drop a dollop of the cheesecake mixture on top of the batter.
8. Divide the chopped strawberries in half. Evenly distribute one half of the strawberries over the cheesecake mix. Divide the rest of the muffin batter evenly among all the muffin cups.
9. Sprinkle rest of the strawberries over the batter, followed by the streusel topping.
10. Bake for 25-27 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
So, this is really part 2 of the 2-part cupcake posting! I have been meaning to make some sort of treat using the blueberry preserves I had recently made. What better way than to test it as a filling for cupcake! So, that was going to be the second cupcake flavor. Vanilla cupcake with blueberry preserve filling and lemon cream cheese frosting! Yummmm!
I am not sure where I came upon this recipe! Since I wanted to stick with the “made from scratch” spree, I decided to whip up this quick cupcake recipe. One warning – be gentle with your mixing if you want to avoid big air pockets in the cake. The cake was totally amazing – especially the frosting! Just the right amount of sweetness with a bit of citrusy tang! Delicious! And the bit of blueberry preserve you get in each bite is just perfect!
(BTW, if you are have leftover frosting, use it as a drizzle for a breakfast treat (sweet rolls or as a spread for crepes!)
Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup blueberry preserve
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. Using an electric hand held beater, combine butter, sugar till light and fluffy.
3. Add one egg at a time, mixing well.
4. Combine cake flour, salt and baking powder.
5. Add the flour mixture alternating with milk in two additions.
6. Divide the batter among the 12 cupcake “wells”. Bake for about 20-22 minutes till the top is lightly golden and the center tests done.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
8. To decorate, slowly and carefully cut out a 1/2 inch piece of cupcake in the middle as shown in the picture above. Reserve the cut out piece. Fill the hole with a teaspoon of blueberry preserve and place the cut out cake back on top. Now, cover the top with lemon cream cheese frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl using handheld mixer. If frosting is too thick, you can thin it by adding few drops of lemon juice.
Crepes are a favorite breakfast item in our household. They are very easy to make and can be tailored to each person’s taste with the addition of their favorite fillings and/or spread. These crepes are especially good (and good for you) because they are made with white whole wheat and 1% milk.
I usually go for Nutella or sweetened cream cheese for the spread and lots of fresh berries, berry compote etc. for the filling. Here is a tip about cream cheese – make your own sweetened cream cheese to limit the amount of sugar. It just takes a tablespoon or so of confectioner’s sugar to sweeten about 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese. Feel free to grate a bit of lemon zest into it with a dash of vanilla!
Crepes can be enjoyed at room temperature. That means, you can cook all the crepes first and then, finish them off later with the spread and filling. Perhaps, you could just set the crepes with the spread(s) and filling(s) and have everyone compile their own! 🙂
Whole wheat crepes with fresh berries
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup 1% milk
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon honey
Extra butter or non stick spray for cooking the crepes
Sweetened cream cheese
Mixed berry compote
1. Thoroughly blend all of the crepe ingredients through honey in a blender. I used a handheld mixer to whisk the mixture.
2. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes so the air bubbles disappear.
3. Heat a small sauté or frying pan over medium high heat. Either melt a dab of butter or spray with a non-stick spray.
4. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter and quickly swirl to coat the bottom.
5. Let cook for a minute and flip to the other side. Continue cooking for about 30 seconds or so.
6. Remove crepes to a plate and keep aside till ready to assemble.
7. When ready to assemble, spread a bit of nutella or cream cheese. Fill with fruits or compote of choice or just enjoy plain with just the spread.
8. Finish off with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.