Jack and I always enjoy a drive to Plant City. The charming town has more to offer than it’s annual February Strawberry Festival. It’s history and the people of Plant City keep us coming back for more.
I created a few Plant City Strawberry recipes over the years and here are my favorites.
Strawberry Bread With Honey Butter
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pecans
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, diced into 1/4-inch pieces and mixed with 1/4 cup flour (see note)
For honey butter:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour (or spray with a nonstick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until brown and fragrant — don’t let them burn. Remove from oven and let cool completely before chopping coarsely.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1 3/4 cups of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions), starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the diced strawberries and chopped nuts.
Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 60 to 70 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes and then remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, but the bread will hold together better if completely cooled.
While bread is cooling, make honey butter by thoroughly mixing all ingredients together with a spoon or a handheld mixer.
Makes 1 loaf.
Note: Coating the strawberry pieces in flour helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf when baking. This 1/4 cup flour is needed in the recipe.
Source: Adapted from joyofbaking.com and allrecipes.com
Strawberry Ice Cream Pie
Fill a graham cracker crumb crust with softened strawberry ice cream, freeze. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries on the side.
Strawberry Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
½ creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup strawberry jam
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, sugar, soda, and salt.
Cut in butter and ½ cup peanut butter.
Blend in syrup and milk.
Form dough into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.
Chill at least two hours and up to six months.
Remove from freezer, (thaw slightly if necessary) remove plastic wrap and slice ¼ inch thick.
Place ¼ teaspoon Plant city strawberry jam in center of half the slices.
Top with remaining slices and seal edges with fork.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet.