Square Strawberry muffins

“Did you think I’d forgotten you?”– Frank Underwood. Man, I love that show.

One single square strawberry muffin with butter.

I hadn’t baked anything in 2 months and things had just gone to shit. Busy @ work, busy with other stuff, turning into a blob… I was so stressed and had sunken to new lows, eating chocolate (namely KitKats), cookies, Starbucks pastries and fries to quell the panic and busyness, and I even succumbed to eating… dun dun DUNNNNN Entenmann’s raspberry Danish. I sh*t you not. The 50% off price tag at the supermarket pushed me over the edge. The nutritional value alone made me feel like I’m a guilty shameful druggie with a deep dark food binge secret. This was extra bad b/c Vin has been eating super healthy for the past 2 months!

With baking, I know exactly what I’m putting in the mixer , even if it IS a pound of butter and cups of sugar. All that divvied up between 4 dozen muffins isn’t terrible, right? I guess that comes out to about 1/3 oz. per muffin. I had 2 pints of super sweet ripe strawberries that I wouldn’t be able to eat before they’d go bad, so I decided I’d use them for baking. Hey, @ least there were fresh strawberries to fulfill half a recommended daily value serving of fruit?

The strawberries taste like strawwwrrrrberries. *William Wonka

The strawberries taste like strawwwrrrrberries. *William Wonka

I cut up the strawberries into tiny pieces whilst watching “Vikings” (lots of red corn syrup action going on there) and coated them in a little flour so they wouldn’t all sink to the bottom of the pan. I debated using cupcake pans for the muffins, but decided “Nahhhhh” and took out my 2 square pans. These are becoming my normal muffin pans; I made corn muffins in these before.  I didn’t have time to let the eggs sit for half an hour to get to room temp, so I immersed them in warm water for a bit. While the eggs were bathing, I creamed the butter for a good 3 minutes till it was a beautiful whipped white, then threw in a few pinches of salt and a couple cups of sugar.

whipped. butter.

delicious. whipped. butter.

Side note: I love prepping and baking in the mornings b/c the natural light makes my smartphone pics look awesome. Haha I mean, look @ how nice the flour and the cornstarch look in the abundant sunlight? Just beautiful.

Cake flour in sunlight

Cake flour in sunlight

Once the eggs were ready I plopped them in one @ a time into the mixer. For cakes, I usually just add the egg yolks into the creamed butter/sugar mix then add beaten egg whites after the flour and milk, so this method resulted in broken-looking batter (totally expected). I folded in the flour by hand and added the cut up chunks of strawberries. Trusty ice cream scoop + square pans and into the oven they went!

Strawberry batter

Strawberry batter

Each pan baked for about 10 minutes. I had Vin taste test a trial muffin and he suggested having it with a pat of butter. I was like [wide-eyed], “MORE butter? Umm… OK,” and sliced a thin piece of unsalted butter from the fridge. I’m not quite sure what I was trying to accomplish with shaping the little bit o’ goodness, but I just cut a few slices and arranged them in a gradient pattern on the muffin. I guess it kinda looks art deco-ish? Anyway, whatever the hell I was doing made for a super crisp photo on my phone so I loved it. I had Vin try a bite with more butter and unfortunately… he liked it so much he totally broke his diet and had 2 more. (Oops! But @ least I know I make a mean strawberry muffin!)

Before and after

Before and after

I brought a bunch to Vin’s family and packed up a container to bring to his sister’s. N just had her 3rd baby boy and this little peanut was going to be my godson (I can’t wait to spoil him!). We hung out @ the T house for a bit and I played with my other godson and he loved the strawberry muffins

Strawberry muffins with buttah

Strawberry muffins with buttah

The rest of the muffins were brought into work to thank the Finance ppl I harassed for year-end testing, and I doled some out to the external audit staff to keep our relationship kosher. I think my coworkers have come to develop a Pavlovian-Stockholm syndrome response with me. It’s like, when I come to see you, you know you’re probably going to be bombed with questions and document requests and I will successfully ruin your workday, no matter how friendly or professional I am about it. (Going back to “Vikings”, those warriors’ job responsibilities were to rape and pillage; my job just involves corporate butt-raping.) BUT… on the flip side, it’s a given that if I stop by to make your life a little more miserable, I’ll come back with a homemade baked good that will brighten your day and just be that perfect little fix so you’ll WANT me to stop by b/c there’s a chance I might have more sweets, and next time I come back to harass you, you won’t hate my guts. =P

And I leave you with a crappy picture of crap

And I leave you with a crappy picture of crap. I’m so ashamed I ate it!

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