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Published: Sunday, 5/25/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

Berries brighten nutmeg muffins

These muffins make delicious use of farm-fresh strawberries. These muffins make delicious use of farm-fresh strawberries.

When local farm-fresh strawberries appear at the fruit stands, you can probably hear my squeals of joy across the country. I’m crazy about North Carolina strawberries and hit the pick-your-own farms at least once a week during the season.

It’s not as if I needed another reason to eat my super-size share of fresh strawberries, but I found one. This recipe for Nutmeg Muffins With Fresh Strawberry Syrup is wonderfully unadorned, but adding the strawberry syrup makes the muffins sublime. The subtleness of the nutmeg is enhanced by the sweet, fresh berries and syrup. It’s one of those mysteries when the whole combination is far greater than the sum of its parts.

The muffin texture is somewhere between pound-cake dense and shortcake light. Sweetened with just ½ cup sugar, it is the perfect background to the sun-ripened strawberries we enjoy at this time of year. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Nutmeg Muffins With Fresh Strawberry Syrup

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 jumbo muffins or 12 small muffins

Nutmeg Muffins

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup sugar

1 large egg

1¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup 1 percent (or higher) milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 6-cup, extra-large nonstick muffin tin (or 12-cup regular-size muffin tin) and set aside.

Using a mixer, mix together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy. Add egg and mix thoroughly, scraping down sides as necessary.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture with the butter mixture, alternating with the milk until all the dry ingredients and milk are added. The batter will be fluffy. Divide equally among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until muffins are lightly brown at edges and bounce back when lightly touched on tops. Serve with strawberry syrup, if desired.

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

2 cups strawberries, sliced

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon water

Combine the strawberries, sugar, and water in a small mixing bowl. Using a potato masher (or fork), mash the strawberries to create a rustic syrup. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Approximate values per ½ jumbo-size or 1 small muffin with syrup: 152 calories, 6.5 g fat (4 g saturated), 31 mg cholesterol, 2.4 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 64 mg sodium.

Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/​o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Visit the Kitchen Scoop website at www.kitchenscoop.com.

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