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.
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.
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:
- Mix muffins by hand, but don’t over mix. Stir just until the flour disappears. Over mixing can result in tunnels.
- Make sure all ingredients are room temperature beforehand including the butter, eggs, and yogurt. According to Epicurious, this can make or break your muffins.
- 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.
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Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.