Upgrade Basic Muffin Mix With Fresh Strawberries And Basil

Plain, slightly sweet muffins are the perfect rainy day dessert. They lack the ornamentation of cupcakes and the regalness of scones. Yet, the comforting, buttery taste makes you wonder why you don't bake them more often. Put that box of basic muffin mix to use by upgrading it with strawberries and basil.

After fishing a box of muffin mix out of the pantry, the obvious choice may be to fill it with chocolate chips or dried cranberries. However, strawberries and basil bring a unique upgrade to the muffins, taking them from a casual post-dinner snack to an elegant dessert for guests. As chunks of juicy strawberries bleed their sweetness into the muffin, each bite is punctuated with the refreshing earthiness of basil. A flowery spring or summer day in the form of a dessert, strawberry and basil muffins are a delicious cross between sweet and savory.

The two ingredients take muffins to the next level in a few short steps. Cut strawberries into small pieces and tear the basil into tiny scraps to maintain their bright flavor. Add the strawberries and basil together into the already-mixed batter, and stir until they're evenly spread throughout the batter. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Add strawberries and basil to these delicious muffin mixes

Strawberries and basil can certainly be the dominating force of the muffin, but they can also work to enhance the taste of a pre-flavored muffin mix. Add chopped strawberries and basil to cornbread muffin mix to add a layer of tart, pungency to the mildly sweet muffins. Bright, fruit flavors already bring an upgrade to cornbread, so this combination is no different. Add slivers of strawberries and basil to the batter and bake up a batch for your next picnic.

Although it technically uses plain muffin mix, turning the batter into cookies is a creative take on the run-of-the-mill treat. To turn the buttery muffin into a firm cookie, leave out the milk and water when mixing the batter. Toss in the strawberries and basil, along with a dash of lemon zest, and bake the cookies at 350 F for 12 minutes. Subtly sweet with a tangy, herbaceous edge, the cookies are an easy, yet creative gift for others.

Speaking of tangy, bring out the full lemon flavor by adding strawberries and basil to a lemon poppyseed muffin mix. The combination of tart lemons and strawberries is for people who prefer desserts with more zest than usual. While the basil can act as a grounding ingredient, add a bit of pink peppercorn for a gentle touch of heat.