So Berry Nice

I always know spring is just around the corner (at least somewhere in the world) when I start seeing rows of fresh strawberries in the produce section of my local grocery store. While peak strawberry season is said to be April-June, longer growing seasons in warmer parts of the country allow us to begin enjoying this fruit while snow is still on the ground here in Minnesota. And by February, I'm definitely ready for a reminder that warmer days will come!

Strawberries add a sweet savor to almost any dish, from salads to entrees. But it's most popular as a fresh and pretty ingredient in desserts. Here are some of my favorite ways to make berry good treats:

luscious lime berry cheesecake bars | Tastefully Simple

Luscious Lime-Berry Cheesecake Bars. This is a super-simple variation on the standard prep of Tastefully Simple's new Luscious Lime Cheesecake Bar Mix. Adds a sweet berry counterpoint to the tangy lime cheesecake filling in this creamy bar.

sunny strawberry baked mini donuts recipe | Tastefully Simple

Sunny Strawberry Baked Mini Doughnuts. I'll never go back to deep-fried doughnuts! I used Sunny Lemon Pound Cake Mix and fresh, diced strawberries for the batter and baked these little yummies up quick. A berrylicious glaze completes the package.

Berry trifle

Fruity Fresh Parfaits. Layers of cubed Classy Chocolate Pound Cake, creamy mousse made from new Peach Raspberry Cheese Ball Mix and sliced fresh strawberries make pretty single-sized desserts in elegant glasses. This is on my Easter menu this year.

Tip: Pipe leftover mousse into hollowed out strawberries.

molten cake | Tastefully Simple

Fudgy Strawberry Molten Cake. Strawberry ice cream syrup is the lovely "lava" in this molten cake made from Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix. Serve on a plate drizzled with strawberry syrup and dust the cakes with confectioners sugar.

Tip: Give confectioners sugar a subtle pink sheen by stirring a teaspoon of pink Disco Dust (available where baking supplies are sold) into a cup of confectioners sugar.

On National Strawberry Day, give it up for this mighty little berry that brings a taste of spring to everything it graces!

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