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Cook the Book: Ponchatoula Strawberry Cupcakes

Book CoverEver since I first started baking as a child, I've been searching for a recipe for strawberry cupcakes—perfect, pink confections with the sweet flavor of pure sunshine. There are plenty of versions to be found, but most call for frozen strawberries or strawberry jam. I wanted cupcakes that incorporated actual berries—preferably ones I had plucked from a bush myself from the rows behind my local farm stand. After years of searching to no avail, I had all but given up.

Enter Martha Hall Foose, author of this week's Cook the Book selection, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea. I literally squealed with joy when I turned to page 230 and discovered her recipe for Ponchatoula Strawberry Cupcakes. Not only do the cupcakes call for 1 cup of mashed ripe strawberries but the frosting uses 1/2 cup as well. The results are gorgeous—tender little cakes with a beautiful rosy hue, perfect for any tea or birthday party.

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