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Spring into Strawberries

Anna Ginsberg, Texas Co-op Power’s new food editor, introduces herself and a delightful dessert

Sometimes the best way to break the ice is to share a recipe, but it helps if you introduce yourself first, so I’ll do just that and say how delighted I am to be the new host of the Texas Co-op Power recipe section. A Texan, I came from a family of eaters rather than cooks, which worked out well because my mother let me take over the kitchen at an early age. Cooking never felt like a chore, and I kept at it into adulthood though never pursued it as a career. But things changed.

A baby entered our lives, keeping me very busy; but it was also a turning point, and I began looking for a way to channel my passion for cooking into something more lucrative. I began submitting recipes to contests. Most of the time, I never heard back, but one day a letter arrived saying I’d won the grand prize in a cheesecake contest. Victory!

I became hooked on contests. In 2005, I won the Texas Co-op Power Holiday Recipe Contest. In 2006, I won the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. I’ve also written a cookbook, “The Daily Cookie” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012), and maintain a blog, Cookie Madness.

I love coming up with recipes by adding a little twist, like my recipe, below, for a strawberry icebox dessert combining berries with malted milk powder to create a flavor reminiscent of a strawberry malted milkshake. My dessert shares these pages with excellent recipes submitted by Texas Co-op Power readers. If your recipe wasn’t chosen this month, please send one for the August contest, Frozen Treats. Good luck!

Strawberry Malt Napoleon

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup malted milk powder
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Strawberry syrup, optional

  • Allow puff pastry to thaw at room temperature as directed on the box.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the puff pastry sheet on a large, flat surface and cut it into nine equal squares. Arrange the squares about an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until puffed. Let the squares cool on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, puree half of the strawberries and set aside.
  • Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. If using a microwave, melt using 50 percent power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth, then beat in the melted chocolate. Add the powdered sugar and malted milk powder and beat until smooth, then stir in the pureed strawberries. Fold in the whipped cream.
  • Split cooled pastry squares in half and lay the bottom halves across the bottom of an ungreased 13-by-9-inch dish, cut side up; spread with 3 1/2 cups of the strawberry cream and scatter about a cup of sliced strawberries over the top. Cap with the pastry tops, cut side down. Spread with remaining strawberry cream and remaining cut strawberries.
  • Chill thoroughly for about 3 hours or until ready to serve. To serve, cut in squares and garnish with strawberry syrup, additional strawberries and whipped cream if desired.

Servings: 12. Serving size: 1 square. Per serving: 396 calories, 4.7 g protein, 28.1 g fat, 33.2 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g dietary fiber, 134 mg sodium, 26.1 g sugars, 80 mg cholesterol

April 2014 Recipe Contest