June 2, 2009

Cherry Almond Muffins

For the past few weekend mornings, I have jumped out of bed with an inexplicable enthusiasm for making muffins. Last Sunday, these adorable cherry-almond babies were puffing up in the oven before I'd even had my first cup of coffee. It's still a mystery to me how that happened. I prefer a nonstick aluminum muffin tin to a silicone mold. The metal pan gives the muffins a much better golden-browned color, and in my experience it's actually easier to remove the muffins from a buttered metal pan than a silicone one. These muffins are delicious eaten warm with almond butter. Extras will keep for a few days in an airtight container. To reheat, just wrap in aluminum foil and heat in the toaster oven or oven at 200 F for 5-8 minutes.

Cherry Almond Muffins
Yield: 8-9 muffins

Dry ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour (sifted before measuring) 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/4 cup sucanat or rapadura
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Wet ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
The mix-ins:
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
Butter, for muffin pan
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Sift together AP flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in sucanat and whole wheat pastry flour.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in milk, melted butter, and almond extract.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry, and incorporate with a few strokes. Avoid overmixing, as it will develop the gluten in the flour and result in a tough muffin. And nobody wants that.
  • Stir in the cherries and almonds.
  • Pour batter into a buttered muffin tin, using about 1/3 cup batter per muffin. Bake until muffins are golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

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