If you haven't already guessed, I made these sweet little cupcakes for a baby shower. It is mind-boggling how many pregnant women I know at this moment, but sadly the only time I've been invited to provide the dessert for any of the lucky ladies would be for my two darling coworkers, A. and D. I didn't want to let them down, so searched the Interweb far and wide for a recipe that would be just like them: understated, elegant, and sweet as can be. Enter: Martha (and aren't we all just on a first name basis with the old gal, honestly?).
I changed Martha's recipe a bit, doubling the strawberries and adding a touch of honey to sweeten them up before adding to the batter. While the cupcakes still only had the faintest hint of a pink color, the flavor was sublime. I loved these little cupcakes, not too coyingly sweet and yet the strawberry flavor really came through. Plus, they were super moist. I can only imagine how good they would also be if you substituted the strawberries for fresh peaches, or raspberries, or blueberries, or lime...
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 1/3 c. whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 c. whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
Place strawberries and honey in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 2/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting
(from Ina Garten)
2 pkgs. (16 oz. total) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine cream cheese and butter thoroughly. Add sifted powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.