Our strawberry hankerings grow strong with the first bloom of spring. We are lucky to have several wonderful strawberry farms in our region. Pick your own or just pick them up straight from the farm or farmers’ markets! Chop ‘em, freeze ‘em, blend ‘em, bake with them or eat them fresh; there are so many options. Enjoy making these dishes with your kids this strawberry season!
Strawberry Lemonade Blondies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup lemon juice, fresh
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (can also substitute blueberries or add rhubarb)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 large strawberries puréed
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, fresh
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, with edges extended for lifting out of pan later.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg. When mixed well, beat in the lemon juice (may not mix well, but that’s fine).
- In separate small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Gently fold in the diced strawberries and spread evenly into pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until slightly golden on the edges and center is set. A toothpick inserted in center should be moist but not wet. Do not over-bake or they will be dry. Cool on cooling rack.
- For the glaze, purée the strawberries in food processor. Strain with a small strainer to get roughly 1 Tbsp. of purée. Whisk together with powdered sugar and lemon juice until no lumps remain. If the glaze is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. If too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
- Spread the glaze over the cooled blondies and let set before slicing.
Strawberry Pretzel “Salad”
2 cups pretzels, crushed
¾ cup butter, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. whipped topping
1 cup sugar
3 oz. strawberry flavor Jell-o
2 cups boiling water
10 oz. fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter. Using fingers, press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan (glass if your have it!).
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until pretzel layer is lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and mix well. Spread evenly over pretzel base.
- Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together gelatin mixture and boiling water. Once gelatin is dissolved, add strawberries. Refrigerate 5 minutes.
- Pour gelatin mixture over the chilled cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour.
- Optional—decorate each sliced square with a swirl or dollop of whipped topping, with a strawberry on top.
Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 (1.75 oz. box) Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin
2 cups fresh strawberries, crushed
4 cups white sugar
Large bowl with pour spout OR funnel
6 (8 oz.) jelly jars, or 12 (4-oz.) jelly jars, or plastic freezer jam jars
1. Place the clean, capped strawberries into the blender and blend to your desired jam consistency (chunky or smooth).
- Pour the blended 2 cups (exactly) of strawberries into the mixing bowl with pour spout and stir in (exactly) 4 cups sugar. Let sit 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once strawberry mixture has sat 5 minutes, in a saucepan, add ¾ cup water, stir in pectin and stir until it boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. After 1 minute of boiling, remove from stove and immediately pour into strawberry mixture. Stir continually until the jam begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.
- Carefully fill the jelly jars, using the pour spout on the mixing bowl or a funnel. Leave ½-inch space at the top for expansion. Place lid on jars.
- Let the filled jars sit at room temperature 24 hours and then place in freezer. Jam lasts 1 year in freezer. Before serving, place jam in refrigerator. Jam lasts 3 weeks in refrigerator.