Valentine Muffins


* 6 tablespoons butter
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup milk
* 14 strawberries, fresh or defrosted frozen
* Food coloring, optional
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* Hershey's Kisses, Hugs or strawberry jam


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

Mix in the eggs, one at a time, and add the milk.

Rinse the strawberries and cut off the greens with a plastic knife (a fun job for 3- to 5-year-olds who are accustomed to cutting play dough).

Mash the berries with a potato masher or puree in a blender. Stir the berries into the butter and milk mixture.

Tip: For muffins with a more pronounced pink color, add a few drops of red liquid food coloring.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir well.

Add the flour mixture to the berry mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until all the white disappears.

Line the muffin tin with paper liners. Drop the batter from a tablespoon to fill the cups halfway.

Add an unwrapped Kiss, Hug or 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Then spoon more batter to fill almost to the top.

Bake until the muffins begin to brown and a toothpick inserted near the center (but not in the Kiss) comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the tin and cool.




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