There's no substitute for made-from-scratch goodies, but the sweet stuff can be complicated to create. So we asked local bakeries to share recipes for delectable but doable desserts. Savor the simplicity!

There's no substitute for made-from-scratch goodies, but the sweet stuff can be complicated to create. So we asked local bakeries to share recipes for delectable but doable desserts. Savor the simplicity!


Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

2 cups frozen strawberries (can also use blueberries, cranberries or cherries)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the frozen fruit of your choice. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. If desired, in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of muffin batter.

Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until muffins are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro

1550 W. Lane Ave., Columbus; 614-488-1911

627 High St., Worthington; 614-848-6711

65 W. Bridge St., Dublin; 614-763-7151

LaChatelaineBakery.com


Charlotte Harden (General Manager)

Stan Wielezynski, a food chemist, and his wife, Gigi, moved their family from France to the U.S. with the dream of opening a bakery. Once they arrived and tasted American food, especially store-bought bread, the couple felt even more compelled to share family recipes from their native country. Breadmaking became their specialty when the Wielezynskis opened the first of three bakeries in 1991. Fresh baguettes and croissants baked in a wood-fired oven before sunrise remain a customer favorite. But La Chatelaine has expanded in recent years to include a bistro that serves three meals a day. Each includes a taste of European hospitality from Stan, Gigi and their four grown children-Tad, Valerian, Charlotte and Janek-who together run the family business. "You might not come to La Chatelaine and see somebody French," Charlotte said. "But everyone's going to greet you with a 'Bonjour!' "


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup raisins

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup Crisco, butter flavored

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large egg

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups oats

1/2 cup flake coconut

1 1/4 cups pastry flour

Note: Crisco can be substituted with 3/4 cup butter or margarine, but then you must skip the 2 tablespoons of water.

Directions:

Soak raisins in a bowl by covering them completely with water; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, Crisco, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Blend with a hand or stand mixer.

Add the egg, water, vanilla, oats, coconut and flour. Blend everything until dough forms.

Drain raisins, then add them to the mixture. Drop by spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Dough may be stiff, so you can pat the cookies down.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 F. Cookies will be slightly browned on the bottom.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

The Original Goodie Shop

2116 Tremont Center,

Upper Arlington; 614-488-8777

TheOriginalGoodieShop.com


Emilie Smith (Bakery Manager)

The same family has operated The Original Goodie Shop since the 1960s, making the longtime Upper Arlington bakery a community staple. Customers were devastated when the shop briefly closed in 2009 due to economic hardship-one even left a condolence card and floral bouquet on the doorstep. But with a boost of $3,000 in local donations, the bakery reopened, and its display cases again overflowed with old favorites such as cinnamon sticks, chocolate-covered long johns and artfully decorated cakes. Many of the recipes popularized by the late James Krenek, who purchased the bakery in 1967, are now carried on by his daughter, Debbie Smith, and her daughters, Emilie and Miranda. And just as Krenek's legacy continues, so does local support. "We were nervous when Giant Eagle opened across the street. We were like, 'Oh, no, we can't compete,' " Emilie Smith said. "We did not even see a dip in sales."


Zucchini Blueberry Bread

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

1 cup soy oil (or other vegetable oil)

3 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups white sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (coat in flour prior to mixing in so they don't sink to the bottom)

Directions:

Beat together eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar with a hand or stand mixer. Fold in zucchini. Mix in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold in blueberries (do not use a mixer for this).

Pour batter into two greased or paper-lined standard loaf pans. Bake at 350 F for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then move to a wire rack.

Makes 2 standard-size loaves.

Beehive Bread Company

50 S. Liberty St., Suite 166,

Powell; 614-505-6506

BeehiveBread.com


Kip Frost (Bakery Owner)

The owners of Beehive Bread Company have a passion for making homemade breads bursting with flavor, but it's not just the taste that keeps regulars coming back for more. The Powell bakery's breads are preservative-free and made with pure ingredients, such as wheat milled on-site. "We wanted (customers) to have a nice, healthy loaf of bread," said owner Kip Frost, who opened the bakery with his wife, Renae, in 2007. "It's much better for you, and it's been pretty well-received." The bakery's menu includes everyday loaves such as honey whole wheat and sourdough, along with a long list of specialty breads, such as the best-selling pumpkin chocolate chip. Frost debuts new specialty flavors each month, often changing the menu to reflect the season. "Our customers keep us honest," he said. "They come in and say, 'What's new this month?' People really want to try different and new things."