Grocery store strawberries are masters in the art of deception. They look pretty at a distance, but once you get close, most times, they are all bruised and/or partially rotten. Nice. No wonder they're $1.50 for a quart, you'll get (maybe) two good ones. What a deal! Other times I think they look great, but once home and washed, they lack in a nice strawberry flavor I desire. Fed up with the antics, this spring I planted my own strawberry plant. It has grown! But no strawberries. I don't even know. Plants and I aren't generally friends. But I will continue to water and care for it, and when I get strawberries of my own several years from now, it will all be worth it! I'm sticking it to the MAN, the GROCERY MAN.
Now, on to sharing some very EASY strawberry flavored treats and one delicious cupcake made with the real deal.
Strawberry Oreo Truffles
-1 package Strawberry Milkshake Oreo's (this is seasonal)
-6 oz cream cheese, softened
-10 oz chocolate candy coating
-4 oz pink candy coating or sprinkles, non-pariels, etc. (optional)
1. Empty package of Oreo's into a gallon size ziploc bag. Crush Oreo's using a rolling pin or whatever heavier object you have handy.
2. Empty crushed Oreo's into a food processor, top with softened cream cheese, and pulse mixture until it appears moist and well combined.
3. Refrigerate for 8 hours or until cool enough to form into balls.
4. Using a melon baller, spoon, or keen eye, roll Oreo mixture into balls; tablespoon/truffle size. Place balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Remove once balls have cooled and hardened and will be manageable in melted chocolate.
6. Melt chocolate candy coating in microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals or in a heat proof bowl over boiling water.
7. Working quickly and with a few balls out at a time, insert a toothpick into Oreo ball and roll around in chocolate, using a spoon to help coat if needed. Gently tap against bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Decorate with sprinkles/decor of choice if desired.
8. Let cool and harden. Decorate with additional candy coating if desired. Enjoy!
Chocolate Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats
-4 Tbsp. butter
-10 oz package Strawberry flavored marshmallows (large ones were all I found)
-1/4 tsp. almond extract
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1-2 drops red food coloring (if desired)
-6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
-1 cup miniature marshmallows (if desired)
-8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Evenly coat a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
2. In a large non-stick pot, melt butter over med-low heat. Stir in package of Strawberry marshmallows. Stir until melted. Remove from heat.
3. Add in extracts and food coloring. Stir to combine.
4. Add cereal and fold gently into melted marshmallow until cereal is evenly coated. Sprinkle 1 cup of mini marshmallows over Rice Krispie mixture and continue to fold until mini marshmallows are evenly distributed through mixture.
5. Turn out mixture into prepared pan and gently pat down with damp hands to evenly distribute.
6. Melt semi-sweet chips in microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring at each interval. Continue until melted. Drizzle chocolate over Rice Krispie treats.
7. Cool, cut into squares, serve and enjoy!
Pink Lady Cupcakes
adapted from Tasty Kitchen
-2 1/4 cup cake flour
-1 1/2 cup sugar
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 tsp. salt
-6 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
-3/4 cup pureed strawberries, strained
-4 whole egg whites
-1/3 cup milk
-1-2 drops red food coloring (to make the pink pop)
1. Preheat oven 350 F. Place liners into cupcake pan. Makes 24 cupcakes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. On low speed with hand or stand mixer, blend for 30 seconds. Add butter and strawberry puree and mix on low to incorporate ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
3. In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, milk, and food coloring, blending until light and airy.
4. Add the whites to the batter in 3 additions. Mixing just to incorporate after each addition.
5. Divide batter evenly amongst cupcake liners. I use a 1 3/4 oz. ice cream scoop or you can fill until liners are 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting
adapted from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy
-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
-8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
-1/2 c. fresh strawberries, pureed
-2 Tbsp. strawberry jam
-4-5 cups powdered sugar
*disclaimer: My mascarpone and butter mix did something funky and it was wet, splashing me, wet! I ended up adding about 5 oz. cream cheese. I added just 4 cups sugar, (it was sweet!) a pinch of salt, and used Smucker's Strawberry spreadable fruit instead of jam.
1. Cream butter and mascarpone with electric or stand mixer until sort and fluffy, about 2 minutes (or never, if you're me)
2. Add the strawberry puree and jam. Mix to combine.
3. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. (This is when I tasted, added salt, and softened cream cheese)
4. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.
These were awesomely yummy! The cake is sooooo moist. The frosting ended up being "loose" but very tasty. I would make these again in a heartbeat.
See my strawberry plant trying to make an appearance? Now if I could just make it produce some strawberries!