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Strawberry + Thyme

July 5, 2011

Is it just me or are strawberries awesome this year?  Sure seems like their season has lasted a long time…. its July and I’m still buying fresh, juicy strawberries for less than $2/lb. 

I don’t have a strawberry patch, but it’s definitely something I’ve thought about.  I’d like to add another raised bed just for strawberries sometime in the next few growing seasons.  Anyone have a great homegrown crop of strawberries this year?

Strawberries chopped

So I guess I kind of have a thing for cupcakes.  They are just so much more handier than a cake.  Easier to store, share and so versatile.  And frankly I just like eating a cupcake better than a slice of cake.  Don’t get me wrong I love a good 2 or 3 layered cake, but I’ll leave that to someone else to bake most times.   Cupcakes…those I can handle. 

Last week How Sweet It Is posted some drool worthy cupcakes using fresh strawberries with coconut frosting and they’ve been on my mind ever since. 

I asked Tyler if he liked coconut and I got a response somewhere alone the lines of ‘bleeecccckkk‘.  So I guess that was a no.   The cupcakes were a go but instead I’d make my favorite frosting and then add my own touch with some extra strawberry flavor on top.    

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry-Thyme Sauce

Cupcakes – from How Sweet It Is

1 C sugar

1/2 C butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 C flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup chopped strawberries

1-2 T of milk (if needed) – I used vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Beat sugar and butter in mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add flour, baking powder and salt on low speed and mix until combined.  Add in strawberries and mix on medium speed until strawberries break down, turning batter light pink.  If you feel your batter is somewhat dry add 1-2 T of milk.  I added 1 T of almond milk for just a little more moisture. 

Pour into your cupcake lined pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Makes a dozen cupcakes.   Or less if you can’t keep your finger out of this fruity batter.

Strawberry Cupcake Batter

Frosting – adapted from Tasty Kitchen

2 1/2 T flour

1/2 C vanilla almond milk (or regular milk, all I had was almond)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 C butter

 1/2 C sugar

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat.  Stir constantly until mixture thickens to the consistency of brownie mix batter.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Let cool completely until moving to next step. 

Mix butter and sugar in mixer until light and fluffy.  Add flour/milk mixture and beat well until completely combined and light and creamy. 

Again try not to eat by the spoonful and spread or pipe onto your cooled cupcakes. 

Strawberries and thyme

And for the finishing touch that just ties it altogether…a fresh and fruity herb sauce.  You know I can’t make cupcakes in the summer without using something from my garden.  I can’t say that I’ve had anything with strawberry and thyme together before now.  I’ve made lemon cakes with thyme and about melted when I ate my first one, so I figured this combo had to be good too. 

Strawberry Thyme Sauce

1 C strawberries, quartered

1/3 C sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3-4 sprigs thyme

In medium sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a simmer.  Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, smashing full strawberries as they soften. 

Remove from heat and remove thyme.  Pour into blender and blend until fairly smooth. 

Drizzle over frosted cupcakes.  Refrigerate remaining sauce and enjoy on ice cream, waffles or even a savory dish with fish or chicken.   Or heck just eat it on a spoon…its that good. 

Strawberry Cupcake with Strawberry Thyme Sauce

Oh my. 

fresh + sweet = delicious

strawberries + thyme = amazing

me + awesome cupcakes = uh oh

Life in Green's Strawberry Thyme Sauce on cupcake

Have any herb and sweets combos you love?

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