So, I'm always looking for different ways we can use up our cherries.
One of my favorite things to do is to mix some pitted cherries and maybe a few fresh-peached peaches with a little honey and a little almond extract. Tastes just like amaretto, which happens to be my favorite cocktail. You can eat the cherry compote straight or serve it over some grilled poundcake.
I know I could always make a cherry pie or cherry ice cream, but I like to do things out of the ordinary. That's how I came up with the idea of cherry muffins. But I couldn't leave it there.
So, I thumbed through my Williams-Sonoma Muffins cookbook and came up with the genius (and super delicious) idea of making cherry white chocolate chip muffins.
My first batch came out a little carmelized (OK, burned) because I somehow turned the oven up too high and didn't realize it until I started smelling smoke and char. But the second batch was perfect -- moist fruit, gooey chips, perfectly executed muffins.
Here's the recipe, my own creation, with a little inspiration from Williams-Sonoma:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add 3/4 TBS lemon juice or vinegar to
3/4 cup milk)
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 to 1 1/2 cups pitted cherries (any variety. I like the bing cherries and
the light pink and yellow cherries)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. GreasE 18 muffin cups with butter or cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
2) In a bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until smooth. (Don't add the hot butter directly to the eggs or you'll cook them. Add the milk first, allow the butter to cool slightly and add slowly to egg
3) In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredient mixture. Beat until smooth and well mixed, 1-2 minutes. (I'd use a wooden spoon and good ol' woman power instead of using an electric mixer.)
4) Fold in the white chocolate chips, being careful to overmix.
5) Add the cherries and fold in, until just mixed.
6) Spoon the batter into greased muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way.
7. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Allow muffiins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin. Serve while still warm.
If you make these muffins, I'd love to know what you think of them. I loved them, and so did my husband. Jackson liked them, too, but he thought the cherries looked like "doo doo."
For more cherry recipes, check out the Cherry Marketing Institute Web site.