With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to bake something for my husband that would be special, and show him how much I care. I thought about cupcakes or cake, but decided instead on making muffins, so that right from the start of his day, he would have a smile on his face.
I created these Strawberry Banana Muffins for him. These muffins did put a smile on his face. Rich and moist with bursts of strawberry flavor, a crunchy topping, and a heart drawn on top with strawberry jam. He was so surprised he called me immediately to thank me!
I think, one of the things that improves a relationship is the element of surprise. You don’t have to give an expensive gift. Just something that comes from your heart. A simple baked good, a love note tucked into his lunch, or a simple e-card to say “I love you” can brighten someone’s day. Showing you care doesn’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day either. Showing love is never out of style.
This recipe is tailored to using a stand mixer. You can mix it by hand, or with a hand mixer, it’s just a lot more work.
Strawberry Banana Muffins With Heart
Makes 18 standard sized muffins
2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ Cup (1 stick) butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces and softened
¾ Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of ½ lemon
2 Cups mashed ripe bananas
1-1/2 Cups chopped frozen strawberries
1/3 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons AP flour
2 Tablespoons melted butter
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ Cup strawberry jam (optional)
- Take butter out of fridge, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces placing in the bowl of your stand mixer. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Measure and mix dry ingredients (first 4 listed) and set aside. I usually use a 4 cup measure and mix it right in the cup.
- Mix the topping for your muffins. Stir together the flour and sugar. Melt butter in 20 second intervals in your microwave. Zest lemon into flour mixture and add melted butter. Stir to combine then add almonds. Stir until evenly distributed.
- Beat butter on medium speed with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the sugar in 4 additions and continue to beat for 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and mix until combined
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
- Turn mixer to low speed and add the banana.
- Add the flour gradually and mix until combined
- Add chopped strawberries and mix until evenly distributed
- Ladle batter into muffin pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray to about 2/3 full. If you use paper liners don’t spray the pan.
- Sprinkle topping on surface of batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan
- If you would like to use the jam to decorate the muffins place about ¼ Cup in a plastic bag and microwave for 20 seconds so it will flow easier. Snip a small corner of the bag off with scissors so you can use the bag to pipe the hearts on. Works well to pipe it while the muffins are still slightly warm, helps it to set to the top of the muffin.
Makes 18 standard sized muffins.
Prep time; 20 minutes.
Bake time; 20 minutes
That’s it! For less than an hour of your time you can brighten someone’s whole day!
I also found a tutorial on “How to make paper fortune cookies” and made these for my husband. It shows you how to make them, and has a download for the paper design and fortunes. I put them in a Chinese take-out container (the folded paper type), and added some chocolate kisses. It was a nice way to remind him during his day at work of how much he is loved.