When I say these are cherry-filled, I’m not kidding. One whole, fresh cherry is obviously peeking out of each mini muffin. The batter couldn’t be simpler and has just the faintest almond flavor, which really compliments the cherry. A little bit of batter-and a whole lotta fruit. Cherry lovers, this is your muffin, and it’s going to be hard for you to eat just one-or two, or three.
I thought the cherry stem poking out of these would be fun and unique. And you can eat around a stem pretty easily-they just pull right out while your chomping down. (Parents: supervise kiddos eating these. Make sure they know the stem is not edible!) But I don’t like biting down on cherry pits. I know, maraschino cherries could be used without worry. But they’re a far cry from the fresh cherries coming into season now. That’s the flavor I really crave. So I figured out how to do it, and my hand-model husband kindly demonstrated this in photos because he loves cherries so much-he really wanted to get the ball rolling on these.
Holding the cherry by the stem end, make a slice with a pair of scissors (actually, kitchen shears work best and you can get a pair at any discount store) into the opposite end. Reaching in with the scissors, get a hold of the pit, give a slight twist, and it pops right out! And the stem stays put! The top of the cherry is still intact and looks good peeking out of the muffin. I give each cherry a quick blot on a paper towel before poking it down in the batter.
No need to have the cherry completely covered in batter. As it bakes the batter will rise around the cherry so just a little of the top-and of course, the stem-is showing. When completely cooled, a quick sift of powdered sugar is all that’s needed.
Have a napkin handy, because this is a juicy treat. These would make an easy-to-prepare addition to your breakfast or brunch table, a buffet table, or just a yummy snack. And if you would prefer to pit and remove the stem, you definitely can.
Move over cherry pie-there’s an easier, quicker way to love those seasonal sweet cherries. No plate or fork needed. Of course, if you put one or two of these next to some vanilla ice cream, I wouldn’t complain.
Cherry-Filled Mini Muffins
- 24 fresh cherries, pitted
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- ½ c. brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs. milk
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- 1 c. flour
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 2 Spray a mini muffin pan (24 cup size) with non-stick spray.
- Step 3 Wash and pit the cherries, leaving the stem intact. (Optional: remove the pit AND the stem.)
- Step 4 With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for two minutes.
- Step 5 Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Step 6 Beat in the milk and the almond extract.
- Step 7 Thoroughly stir in the flour and baking powder by hand.
- Step 8 Divide batter among muffin cups, about two heaping teaspoons per cup.
- Step 9 Put one cherry into each cup (blot them with a paper towel first if they look messy. This will keep the juice from seeping out all over the tops of the muffins while baking), pushing it in almost to the bottom.
- Step 10 Bake 10 minutes.
- Step 11 Put muffin pan on baking rack and run a thin knife around the edges of all the muffins. I usually don’t have any problems with these sticking, but occasionally some cherry juice will cause one to stick a little.
- Step 12 Let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.
- Step 13 Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar when completely cooled.