Strawberry, Balsamic and Goat Cheese Muffins

Strawberry-Balsamic and Goat Cheese Muffins-6.jpg

Have you ever added strawberries to muffins and were unhappy with the soggy results?

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Strawberries and poison ivy go together for me like strawberries and Valentine’s Day for most people.  Some of my earliest memories include staining my 5-year-old hands with incredibly sweet but tiny berries from the ditches of the tar-covered road in front of my house. I ate organically before it was cool…and expensive.

The price for sampling one of God’s most popular fruits was not entirely free, however. I would itch and scratch for days after.  Now that I’ve learned to avoid “leaves of three” and no longer live on that Indiana farm, I don’t have to endure Calamine lotion whenever I eat strawberries. I don’t even have to wait for summertime anymore between year-round availability and frozen strawberries.

One of my favorite ways to eat strawberries is a Strawberry Balsamic Muffin with Goat Cheese from the Central Market Bakery.  I’m not claiming to have THE recipe.  I don’t know how to get it since I don’t work there or know anybody who does, but I wish I did. Doesn’t that sound like a fun job? Maybe my next career.

A few weeks ago, I shared my super quick and easy method for making strawberry-balsamic sauce using frozen strawberries. It has two ingredients and cooks in only 6 minutes. The result is something similar to strawberry preserves but not as thick or sugary. It’s perfect for these muffins. The strawberries are already cooked, leaving no soggy spots inside after baking.

 

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Goat-cheese crumbles give these muffins a distinctive flavor.  I love it but prefer the lesser amount listed in the recipe below. You could also leave it out or use toasted pecans instead for equally delicious results.

Start the day out right by making these for Valentine’s Day! Serve with strawberry or cherry preserves for maximum strawberry flavor.


Strawberry-Balsamic and Goat Cheese Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Quick Breads
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon soda
  • ½ cup unflavored, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup strawberry-balsamic sauce (See note)
  • 1-2 ounces crumbles goat-cheese (depending on how much you like goat cheese)
  • Sanding or sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in microwave for one minute on HIGH. Allow to cool.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and soda in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Combine yogurt, egg, and melted butter in separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Do not overmix.
  5. Lightly fold in strawberry-balsamic sauce and goat cheese.
  6. Portion evenly into muffin pan that has been greased and floured. (I use an aerosol flour/butter mixture.) Muffin pans vary, but I usually end up with 9 smallish muffins.
  7. Sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Notes
To make strawberry-balsamic sauce: Chop 1-1/2 cups frozen strawberries. Place in a Pyrex dish no smaller than 1 quart. Add ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Cook in microwave, UNCOVERED, for 6 minutes, no stirring required.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy February 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm

hummmm, Don’t think I have ever tasted goat cheese. These muffins look great and I really need to do something different for my valentine besides chocolate. This may be just the recipe for the special ones in my life. I just might take these on. Happy Valentine’s and again as always thanks for the motivation of trying something new and exciting.

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit February 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I have oodles of strawberries in my freezer left from last spring, and need to use them before strawberry season rolls around again. These muffins look really tasty! I’ve never had goat cheese in a muffin, but the combination of the cheese with those sweet balsamic strawberries has my mouth watering! :)

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cocidodesopa February 12, 2012 at 12:12 am

Great, great, great!! These muffins must be terrific. We love the combination of goat cheese and sweet ingredients.

Lovely.

Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

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Gary February 12, 2012 at 6:34 am

A great trinity of flavors, for sure. And “spring” strawberries are beginning to show up in supermarkets now.

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Paula February 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I’m not a fan of goat cheese but if the flavour was not overwhelming in these muffins I’d be willing to give them a go. They look delicious Paula.

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`Suzanne February 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Yum sound delicious, Paula what if your not huge fan of goat cheese what could you use instead? maybe cream cheese?

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mimi February 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Great way to start the day.
Mimi

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Scarlett February 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

Can I use another yogurt if I do not have the greek?

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Paula February 16, 2012 at 4:55 am

Scarlett,
Yes, you won’t need quite as much if you use regular yogurt. I imagine you could even use buttermilk or sour milk but would need to experiment with the amount. pr

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Scarlett February 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

okay, I made them. I used regular yogurt and I also put them in cupcake papers. They didn’t come out neatly- but maybe that was the yogurt substitution OR the reason Paula used greased muffin pan.
They were YUMO. I went with maximum amount of goat cheese. You don’t have to be a goat cheese lover to adore these! I actually cored the middle and made a filling of strawberry jam, the leftover balsamic mixture and cream cheese (light). Delicious!

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Paula February 16, 2012 at 5:05 am

Scarlett,
I like the way you bake. Adding jam and cream cheese to the middle would absolutely put these muffins over the top!

I do not generally use cupcake papers for the very reason you stated. They are just so much neater and prettier coming out of non-stick muffin pans. Thanks so much for coming back to tell me about your success. pr

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Patti February 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

I discovered your blog a few weeks ago when your “salad in a jar” video made its way to my Pinterest page. I have since done that and found it to be THE KEY to eating salads. When the lettuce is “at the ready,” there is no excuse to not have a salad. Thanks for sharing that great tip.

Anyhow, these muffins sound delicious. I’ve pinned the recipe to my page. A muffin with a piping hot cup of Earl Grey would be a delightful morning treat.

Thanks…have a blessed day,
Patti

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Paula February 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Hi Patti,

Thanks for taking the time to write. Glad you like the salad. It is so convenient to have it ready to grab and eat! pr

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Simply Life February 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm

what a fabulous idea for muffins! I would never think to make something savory like this but I can imagine how good it tastes!

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ivy October 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I was just looking for a good recipe to use up some extra stuff in my fridge (yogurt and strawberries) and this turned out to be perfect! I didnt add the cheese simply due to lack of it, however, I bet it would be delicious!

I also had to add some milk because my batter was a little more like stiff dough without it.

Nonetheless, great, easy recipe! Thank you.

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Paula October 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Glad you liked them, Ivy.

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Deb April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

I just made these muffins. The only changes I made were using 2 T of honey in the sauce (Heavenly) and using the goat cheese crumbles over the top before baking, instead of inside the muffins. Oh, and I added a tsp of vanilla to the recipe. I wish you could see them! They are very good and I thank you for the recipe. The batter WAS stiff, but it stayed moist in baking.

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Paula April 2, 2013 at 7:09 am

Hi Deb,
Glad you liked them. Love the idea of putting the goat cheese on top. Sounds very pretty. I will try the honey too. Thanks for writing.

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