Square Strawberry muffins
“Did you think I’d forgotten you?”– Frank Underwood. Man, I love that show.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!)
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
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