Strawberries

Valentine’s Day Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Being a food blog focused on dessert, I could’t get away without a Valentine’s Day inspired treat! When I was going to school in Iowa, I would order my birthday cake from the Cottage Bakery and Cafe.  They had the best pink champagne cake with cream cheese frosting and a layer of fresh strawberries.  It’s AMAZING to say the least! Since I haven’t had this cake in a year I wanted to recreate it.  Okay, so I’ll admit it, I cheated.  The cupcake recipe is from Betty Crocker’s website, but it was so good, I had to share it with you!

Sometimes the home baker will refuse to use box mixes.  I was once like this.  But here’s the thing, thousands of dollars go into creating the best box mix and they are very light, fluffy and moist.  So…I stopped putting my nose up to box mixes. One of my favorite box mixes is Duncan Hine’s Red Velvet cake mix.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting2

My best Valentine’s Day was when I was in 5th grade.  My 5th grade boyfriend tied a heart ballon on my mailbox with a box of chocolates inside.  I feel bad for the next guy, because I don’t know how you could top that amount of cute.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting1

I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day! I swear your sweetie will love you even more if you make these cupcakes.  This is one of the first desserts that my dad ate every bite of – and that’s saying something.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes Recipe: 
1 Box of Betty Crocker’s SuperMoist White Cake Mix
1 1/4 C. Champagne or Sparkling Wine
1/3 C. Oil
3 Egg Whites
Red Food Coloring

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting: 
8 oz Cold Cream Cheese
1 Stick Butter (Firm but not Cold)
5 3/4 C. Sifted Powdered Sugar
1/4 C. Strawberry Puree
Pinch of Salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Instructions: 
1. Mix the cake mix and champagne.

2. Add your oil, egg whites and food coloring to your cake mix and champagne mixture.

3. Using a handmixer, beat your batter on medium for 2 minutes.

4.  Fill your muffin tins 3/4 of the way up and bake for 17-22 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream your butter and cream cheese until fluffy.

2. Add your sifted powdered sugar, salt and strawberry puree and mix until combined.

These are super easy to make! I promise!

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

xo,
Marlee

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Individual Bumble Berry Pies

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Bumble berry pie is my absolute favorite pie of all time.  For me, this pie screams comfort food!   Whatever season, I could eat this pie, if only the ingredients were always in season.  How I discovered bumble berry pie was at a farmer’s market.  This Amish man would sell these delicious pies every Wednesday and Saturday.  I had always loved strawberry rhubarb pies, but when I saw bumble berry, I was intrigued, I had to try it.  I was instantly hooked, strawberry rhubarb shed a tear that day, because I moved on to better pie.

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My version/the Amish copycat of bumble berry pie has 4 fruity ingredients – rhubarb, green apple, strawberries and raspberries.  This pie pairs tart and sweet perfectly.  See?! Now you know why I ditched the strawberry rhubarb pie!

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So you might be thinking, why the individual pies, verse the homey big pie? Well, for one, I didn’t have enough rhubarb on hand, opps.  So what did I do, I made individual pies! Portion control, no sharing required and a nice amount of flaky crust in every bit! So, why don’t we make individual pies all the time!?

So I’ll let you in on a secret, I made my life easy and bought frozen raw pie dough. I know, shame on me.  I used Trader Joe’s frozen pie dough, and can I tell you, that it came out so flaky and delicious! I would use it again in a heart beat.

I’ll let you in on another secret, don’t cover your leftovers with a plastic cover, or plastic wrap. The crust will lose it’s flaky crust.  Instead, loosely cover you pie or storage container with foil.

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This pie is a great end of the summer, beginning of fall pie.  It’s fruity flavors are bright, but the warmth of the cinnamon and vanilla create a cozy feeling.

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Bumble Berry Pie Recipe:
1 3/4 C. Rhubarb (Roughly Chopped)
1/2 of One Lg. Green Apple (Peeled & Chopped)
1/2 C. Strawberrys (Roughly Chopped)
1/4 C. Raspberries
1 C. Granulated Sugar
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 tsp. Cornstarch (Sifted)

Store bought raw pie dough or homemade.

Preheat oven to 400.

Instructions:
1. Chop fruit as specified above. In a large bowl, mix fruit, sugars, cinnamon and vanilla. Once mixed well. Add 1 tsp. of sifted cornstarch at a time and mix well. You will repeat this until each of the 4 tsp. are well incorporated. If you do not sift the cornstarch, you will end up with chunks of cornstarch throughout the fruit.

2. Roll out your pie dough and cut out 9 (4 inch) circles. Grease a muffin pan and line the pie dough in each round. Fill with the fruit filling just to the top.

3. Make sure to put a pan lined with foil under your muffin tin to catch liquid sugar. Cook for 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool and take a knife and round the edges, which will release them from the pan. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

**For enough filling for a  9inch pie, multiply this recipe by 1.5.

I hope you try this recipe and love it! I promise you won’t regret it!

xo,
Marlee

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (No Added Pectin)

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Every summer, my family and I go up to Madison, WI and spend the day. We sit behind the Union, walk and shop up and down state street and of course eat Orange Custard Chocolate Chip ice cream from Babcock Dairy.

This year we went to the farmers market and I bought a lot of rhubarb! So I randomly decided to make strawberry rhubarb jam. I guess not so randomly decided, since my Rhubarb Bread with Streusel Topping recipe has been such a hit, thanks to you guys! So I had to post something else with rhubarb! Any ways, I don’t have too much to say, other than it is damn good and really easy to make.  People assume canning will be a painful process.  If you enjoy jams, then I recommend you try canning at home.  Even a beginner in the kitchen will have an easy time!

What you will need:
1 Stock Pot
1 Sauce Pan
Jar Lifter or Tongs w/ Rubber Ends
Potato Masher
(2) 1 C. NEW Mason Jars or (1) 2 C. NEW Mason Jar
2 Clean Towels
24 Hours of Patience

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Recipe (Makes 2 Cups):
1 3/4 C. Small Diced Rhubarb
1/2 C. Small Diced Strawberries
1 1/2 C. Sugar

Instructions:
1. In a tall stock pot, fill with water and allow to come to a boil.

2. While the stock pot is heating up, chop your rhubarb and strawberries. In a sauce pan on medium heat, toss the rhubarb and strawberries with sugar. Stir frequently. Allow to come to a boil, it will start foaming. When foam starts, reduce heat to low. You should always see some bubbles appear at the surface, if not, raise your heat. Stir frequently and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

3. In the stock pot, sterilize the mason jar lids in simmering water for 5 minutes. Set aside on a clean towel. Place another towel over the sterilized lids.

4. After 15 minutes, the fruit should start looking translucent. At this point take the potato masher and mash the fruit. The mixture will thicken. Allow to simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Stirring frequently. After 15 to 20 minutes, the jam should have thickened/reduced.

5. Take the glass mason jars and place in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and pour the hot jam into them, leaving just a little room from the top. Place the lids on the jars and tightly secure them on.

6. Place the filled jars in the boiling water, with 1 to 2 inches of water above the jars. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on a towel and let cool for 24 hours. If you can press the top of the lid and it springs back, then it hasn’t been sealed properly and must be boiled for an additional 10 minutes.

Note: Once you have canned, you can’t use the lids again for future canning.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam without added pectin

Thanks for reading! Can on! 🙂

xo,
Marlee