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Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

source: http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/08/27/strawberry-shortcake-cupcakes/
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Ingredients:

2½ cups blanched almond flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup finely chopped strawberries

Frosting
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup honey
¼ teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
1½ tablespoons strawberry preserves (freshly pureed strawberries will work too)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Line a standard muffin tin with baking cups.

3. Combine the honey, coconut oil, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest in the jar of a blender. Puree on medium speed for 20 seconds or until frothy and smooth.

4. Add the dry ingredients and blend on high for 30-45 seconds. The batter should be very smooth and contain no lumps.
If needed, scrape down the sides with a spatula and blend again for a few seconds until all of the dry mixture is incorporated.

5. Gently fold the chopped strawberries in by hand. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin, filling about 3/4 of the way full.

6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted into the middle and comes out clean.

7. Let the cupcakes cool completely on the counter before frosting.

Frosting
Once the cupcakes have cooled, make your Italian meringue.
Bring your honey to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and lemon juice until frothy and you can just begin to see trail marks from your beaters. When you lift out the beaters, you should see soft peaks.
With the beaters or mixer running, slowly pour in the boiling honey in a steady stream. Continue beating for 6-8 minutes, until the meringue is cool to the touch.
Gently fold in the strawberry preserves. Put the frosting into a piping bag for a pretty design, or spread onto cupcakes with a knife.


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