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Frozen Strawberry Muffins with Goat Cheese–a Central Market Dupe

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Preview: Try these Frozen Strawberry Muffins with Goat Cheese for a quick muffin with a sophisticated flavor profile. They will remind you of the ones sold at the Central Market Bakery.

Do you have a bag of frozen strawberries languishing in the freezer? Here’s a great idea to use them up that won’t require a lot of work. No picking strawberries or cleaning and destemming. Instead, you’ll make a quick strawberry-balsamic sauce in the microwave and add it to some fairly basic muffins.

But that’s not all. Adding goat cheese crumbles is going to take these muffins to a new level. If you’re not a goat cheese fan, substitute feta or leave out the cheese.

Strawberry, Balsamic Muffins with Goat Cheese

Creating the recipe:

The inspiration for these muffins comes from the strawberry balsamic muffins I used to buy from the Central Market Bakery in Ft. Worth.

I’m not claiming to have the authentic recipe. After much experimentation, this muffin seems to be a good clone. No matter what, it is delicious on its own merits.

A few weeks ago, I shared my super quick and easy method for making a strawberry-balsamic sauce using frozen strawberries. It has two ingredients and cooks in only 6 minutes. I use it most often to make my Creamy Strawberry Yogurt Salad Dressing and these tasty muffins.

microwave strawberry reduction in a pyrex measuring cup

The result is something similar to strawberry preserves but not as thick or sugary. Cooked strawberries won’t leave soggy spots inside your baked muffins like sometimes happens with fresh berries.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • BUTTER: Use salted or unsalted butter. If using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Please note that butter should be softened before adding it to the recipe.
  • FLOUR: Use all-purpose, bleached, or unbleached flour.
  • SUGAR: Granulated sugar is specified. The recipe has not been tested with any other sweeteners.
  • GREEK YOGURT: Any unflavored Greek yogurt regardless of the fat content is appropriate. You could substitute vanilla, strawberry, or lemon Greek yogurt but you might want to decrease the sugar according to the sweetness of the yogurt. If you want to substitute regular yogurt, drain it for about 30 minutes to make it thicker.
  • EGG: I use large eggs in all my recipes. Be sure they are room temperature.
  • STRAWBERRIES: I have only made these muffins with frozen berries that I cooked in the microwave. I like the way it gives the muffins strawberry flavor without leaving wet and mushy spots inside the muffin.
  • GOAT CHEESE: Goat cheese crumbles give these muffins a distinctive flavor.  The recipe shows a range of amounts so you can customize according to your love for goat cheese. Buy crumbles if you can get them to save you the trouble of crumbling the cheese yourself.

    If you want a milder-tasting muffin, try substituting feta cheese for the goat cheese or just leave out the cheese altogether. Toasted pecans would make a good addition.
  • SANDING SUGAR: This coarse sugar makes a decorative topping. Substitute regular cheese if you don’t have the sanding sugar or leave it off.

Tips for making muffins:

  1. Mix muffins by hand, but don’t over mix. Stir just until the flour disappears. Over mixing can result in tunnels.
  2. Make sure all ingredients are room temperature beforehand including the butter, eggs, and yogurt. According to Epicurious, this can make or break your muffins.
  3. Preheat oven. The quick change in temperature between your kitchen and the inside of your oven is what activates the baking soda and baking powder.

FAQ about Strawberry and Goat Cheese Muffins

Can I make the muffin batter ahead of time?

Make the batter the night before if you wish, then cover and refrigerate.

Should I thaw frozen berries before baking?

No. This recipe calls for microwaving the berries from a frozen state. When balsamic vinegar is added, the berries will soften and turn syrupy in minutes.

How can I store muffins?

Muffins are the best right after they’re baked. If you have leftovers, store them at room temperature or freeze them. Double-wrap to prevent freezer burn.


Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating inside the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!
Paula

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Yield: 9 muffins

Frozen Strawberry Muffin Recipe with Goat Cheese

Strawberry, Balsamic and Goat Cheese Muffins

An easy strawberry-balsamic sauce combines with goat cheese to make a memorable breakfast muffin.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 cup unflavored, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup strawberry-balsamic sauce (See note)
  • 1-2 ounces crumbles goat cheese (depending on how much you like goat cheese)
  • Sanding or sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚ F.
  2. Make the strawberry balsamic sauce (see recipe notes) and let it cool.
  3. Melt butter in the microwave for one minute on HIGH. Allow butter to cool.
  4. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. Combine yogurt, egg, and melted butter in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Do not overmix.
  6. Lightly fold in cooled strawberry-balsamic sauce and goat cheese.
  7. Portion evenly into a muffin pan that has been greased and floured. (I use an aerosol flour/butter mixture.) Muffin pans vary, but I usually end up with 9 smallish muffins.
  8. Sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow baked muffins to stand for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. They will get soggy bottoms if you leave them too long.

Notes

To make strawberry-balsamic sauce:
Chop 1-1/2 cups frozen strawberries. Place in a Pyrex dish no smaller than 1 quart. Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Cook in microwave, UNCOVERED, for 6 minutes, no stirring required.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g

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