Sweet, Tart & Fruity – Sound like anyone you know??

I had the best strawberry lemonade at a family birthday party last weekend! We were celebrating my daughter and my niece both turning 13 this spring! The lemonade was sweet and tart and fruity – kind of like thirteen year old girls – hehe! (Love u girls!) Well anyway, Stacy, my cousin-in-law makes the most awesome strawberry lemonade!! Seriously – I’ve been thinking about it a lot – so much so, that this idea popped into my brain – Strawberry Lemonade Brownies!

I thought I’d start with my Lemon Brownie recipe from two years ago and go from there. I wanted to add fresh strawberries, but thought they would be too wet in the brownie, so I chopped them and gave them a quick roast in the oven while I made the rest of the recipe. The roasting concentrated the strawberry flavor and helped release some of the excess moisture in the berries. I also crushed up a bag of freeze dried strawberries and mixed them in with the dry ingredients – double strawberry goodness! The batter was the most gorgeous pink! I couldn’t wait to see the color of the baked brownie!

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I cut into the baked brownies and they were – beige – what?? What happened to the gorgeous pink?? ) : They tasted great, but I really wanted them to look a little pink. So, back to the drawing board I went – I spoke to one of the nice bakers at Whole Foods about using beets to make it pink and she thought the beet flavor would overpower the strawberry and lemon flavors, so she sold me some of her natural red food coloring and I decided to try some old school McCormick’s red food coloring as well. The results all tasted the same – but if you want some pinkish color, you’re going to want to add some coloring. The glaze on top gets its color from a little of the powdered freeze dried strawberries – it seems the color holds up well when it’s not subjected to heat
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