This morning I started the day thinking about Easter as a child. It was the holiday as exciting as Christmas. There were personalized Easter baskets filled with candies and chocolates on a bed of fake plastic grass. There was always some sort of delicious ham and potato meal And the Easter egg hunt. Oh… the hunt! The hunt is the sole reason I could sit through church is my Easter dress, itchy tights and Sunday shoes. It was my little sister and I tearing through the house and backyard trying to find as many plastic eggs as we could. It was brutal, and there was no mercy. Flower beds were trampled, the house cat was scared from its house, tears were shed… it was the hunt, and it was serious. The coveted Easter eggs to find of the hunt were the silent one. Silent? Yes! Without the rattle of little chocolate candies, we knew those particular eggs were filled with cash. Oh how my sister and I would fight for those eggs. Thinking about it now, I have to shake my head at what greedy little children we must have been.
For Easter as an adult, I created a dessert that takes me back to Easter as a kid. Strawberry Cupcakes with light, fluffy frosting and mini Easter eggs on top. Since my sister and I don’t nearly kill each other in the Easter egg hunt anymore, I thought we might remember those sweet days with these darling cupcakes.
I used fresh, diced strawberries and ricotta cheese. The strawberry flavor was light and subtle. Next time I think I’ll use sour cream instead of the ricotta, just because I love the tender crumb that sour cream creates. These cupcakes are adorned with seven minute frosting, coconut and mini speckled robin’s eggs.
Strawberry Ricotta Cupcakes
adapted from Cooking with Amy
1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature1 egg8 ounces ricotta cheese mixed with 1/4 cup whole milk1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon soda1/2 cup diced strawberries, freshCenter a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcakes papers and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Dice strawberries and set aside.In the bowl of a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla.Add the ricotta mixture alternately with the flour mixture. Starting and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the strawberries .Divide among the 12 muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until risen and very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.
Seven Minute Frosting- Pink and Greenfrom Gourmet Cookbook2 large egg whites1 cup sugar1/4 cup waterCombine all ingredients in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on low speed until mixture is warm and sugar is dissolved. Increase speed to high and beat until frosting is thick and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Remove from bowl and beat until slightly cooled. Add a dash of vanilla extract and food coloring if desired. I used pale pink and green for Easter.