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franklin county times

Turn sweet strawberries into any number of tasty treats

FRANKLIN LIVING — TASTE OF FRANKLIN —

Amy McCollum is highlighting a few of her favorite strawberry recipes just as schools are selling them as fundraisers. “If you’re like me and bought a flat, these recipes will come in handy,” McCollum said. “You can freeze some of the berries and make some of the yummy treats later on.”

For McCollum, strawberries’ value lies in their versatility. “You can make muffins, shortcake, pancakes, smoothies, candy, milkshakes, cookies – and the list goes on,” she said. They also remind her of her growing up years in the 1980s. “I loved Strawberry Shortcake and watched many of her cartoons as a child. When she made a comeback in early 2003, my daughters Leah and Anna Beth enjoyed all the dolls, toys and cartoons again. It was great to see them enjoy something I did as a kid.

“I also took them to pick strawberries at LouAllen Farms in Lawrence County when they were little. It was a great agricultural lesson for them, even at a young age.”

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 oz.) packages frozen strawberries
  • 2 (3 oz.) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
  • 1 (8 oz.) container thawed frozen whipped topping
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter and three tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9×13-inch pan and bake for seven minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.
  5. To serve, cut slices and top with a dollop of whipped topping.

Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 (18.25 oz) box white Duncan Hines cake mix
  • 1 (3 oz.) box strawberry-flavored instant Jell-O
  • 2 cups of strawberries, pureed, plus 1/4 cup puree for frosting
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) package softened cream cheese
  • 7 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • freshly sliced strawberries for garnishing

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans or one 13×9 cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Pour into pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
  6. For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar, beating until smooth.
  7. Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake.
  8. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. large strawberries, washed and dried
  • 8 oz. milk chocolate baking chocolate
  • 4 oz. white chocolate baking chocolate
  • Decorations: 1 cup crushed pecans, 1 cup mini semi-chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Place milk chocolate and white chocolate in two separate bowls. Melt in the microwave according to the package.
  2. Grab the strawberry by the stem or insert a toothpick into the top.
  3. Dip the strawberry into the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off.
  4. If decorating with nuts or chocolate chips, after the excess chocolate has dripped off the strawberry, lay it on a plate of nuts/chocolate chips. Gently press the nuts/chocolate chips into the chocolate.
  5. Place on wax paper to harden.
  6. Drizzle with white chocolate if desired.
  7. Strawberries are best served the day they are prepared but may be stored in the fridge for up to two days.
  8. Tip: Wash the strawberries thoroughly and place on paper towels to dry. You might need to pat the berries. The chocolate will not stick to the strawberries if they are still wet.   

Simple Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 8 scoops (1 1/3 cups) Country Time Lemonade
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, blended
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Mix lemonade, sugar and strawberries in a gallon jug.
  2. Fill the rest of the jug with water.
  3. Serve over ice and garish with a lemon slice.

Strawberry-Pecan Bread

Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted (real butter, no substitutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray a 9-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3/4 cup sugar and pecans and make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and lemon zest.
  5. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until combined
  6. Gently stir in strawberries.
  7. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle hot loaf with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  10. Run a knife around edges of pan. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with strawberry butter.

Strawberry Butter

Yields about 1 1/4 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarsely mashed strawberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy.
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Gradually add strawberries, beating until combined.
  4. Beat in lemon zest and vanilla.
  5. Serve immediately with the Strawberry Pecan Bread.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Easy no-egg recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed fresh strawberries
  • 2 drops red food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, strawberries and food coloring.
  2. Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

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