Hooray! Strawberries are back in season! With plump, red strawberries abounding in farmers’ markets and bodegas, I started to crave a favorite muffin from back home. There’s a popular family restaurant chain in Pittsburgh that makes these sweet, sparkling sugar-topped strawberry muffins. As pretty as they were tasty, those muffins are much missed now that I’m in California.
So, for my April Muffin of the Month, I whipped up a Neufchâtel and Strawberry Muffin recipe as an homage to those muffins!
Tickled Pink Neufchâtel and Strawberry Muffins
Makes a dozen regular sized muffins.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk or non-dairy substitute
¼ cup applesauce for a vegan option, or 1 egg
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
½ cup of Neufchâtel or cream cheese
Pink sugar sprinkles
1. Preheat your oven at 400°F. Meanwhile, sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
2. Combine milk, oil, and applesauce/egg. Stir in sugar and mix until dissolved.
3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, stirring gently.
4. While there is still clumps of flour in the mix, fold in strawberries. Work batter lightly until just combined.
5. Pour batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full. Add a teaspoon-sized dollop of Neufchâtel or cream cheese (I used the former) in each cup. Sprinkle sugar on top.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Once the muffins pass a toothpick test, they’re done.
These are best eaten at room temperature, so let them cool completely before indulging, no matter how difficult it may be.
What baked goods remind you of home? Have there been any baked good that make you say ‘hooray’ lately?