Treasured Treats

Treasured Treats

What is it about wedding and baby showers that makes us smile? Showers are often multi-generational gatherings where the wisdom of experience—on sharing a checkbook or changing a diaper—mixes with laughter. It is the optimism of new beginnings that make us come together to celebrate with the bride-to-be or expecting mother. Whichever one she is, she is going through a major change and we are happy for her.

The food at showers is feminine and fun, which is why strawberry-lime stuffed cupcakes are perfect for the occasion. They have a delicate lime flavor and when cut open, the cupcakes reveal an entire strawberry in the center—a surprising and wonderful treat.

RECIPE: Strawberry-Lime Stuffed Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp fine salt2 large eggs, room temperature2/3 cup sugar3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted2 tsp vanilla extract1/2 cup milk

Icing:1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted1 1/2 tbsp (or less) finely grated lime zest—check for flavor after adding 1 tbsp2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Additional ingredients:Green food coloring6 large, ripe strawberries, hulledGreen sanding sugar Fresh mint leaves or candied leaves

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Butter a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla. While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to overmix the batter. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cups. Bake until a tester in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the tin. Cool completely.

For icing: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and mix with an electric mixer to make a firm but pourable icing. (If needed, add up to 1 teaspoon more juice, but take care; if the icing is too loose it doesn’t set properly.) Add food coloring to make a pale pastel green icing, if desired.

To assemble: Cut and remove a strawberry-shaped portion from the top of each cupcake, leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch of cake in the bottom. Stuff each with a strawberry and cover with a little bit of cake. Spoon and spread icing over the top . Sprinkle with green sanding sugar. Top with small mint leaves or candied leaves.

Makes 6 large cupcakes.

Adapted recipe courtesy of the Television Food Network.

Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. She teaches cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports and All Through the House in Stoughton. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to .