Pipe Dream #282: To Be a Hugger – Cherry Almond Muffins + a Chocolate Version

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Got a new roommate–those are all her pretty things.

Tried to make her a welcome muffin–because warm muffins are like, the most welcoming thing. Besides, you know, open arms and a smile, I guess. But we talk food on this blog, and I don’t know her well enough to hug her.

I just imagined this one-sided convo that is everything that I would think and that would likely lead to a one-sided hug, probably:

“Wait, are you a hugger? Because I’m not really. But like, I would hug you, if that is what it would take for you to feel at home in your new home where I already live. You seem like you wouldn’t smell bad, based on the tasteful home decor items you dropped off a few days ago. But really, decorating taste is no indication of hygiene habits, so I really can’t say. Welp, I guess we can hug. Ok. That wasn’t so bad. Welcome. Here is a muffin.”

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And nothing goes with cherries more classically than almonds.

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True life: I was rushing when I made these and encountered two problems. One: I overmixed the batter, which can make for a denser batter, when I wanted light and fluffy. Two: I used self-rising flour that is so old that it kind of has chunks in it that I can’t get out because I have no sifter, which made the flour incorporate unevenly. This was especially obvious in the chocolate version. I could see little white specks, and texture was definitely off. It could be the recipe, too–I thought there wasn’t enough liquid in the batter.

Luckily, because these muffins have fresh cherries in them, they really softened up overnight. By  morning, the texture was much more moist, if not less dense. And if all else fails, just top with hot fudge sauce. Because that stuff makes anything into a sundae.

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Sew many problems, but maybe you should try it. For an ultra-quick muffin recipe, this can’t be beat. The almond flavor is good. Plus, when eaten fresh from the oven, even an average muffin is a winner.

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For all you huggers, I would hug you, maybe,


Cherry Almond Muffins + Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 3/4 cups self-rising flour* (for a chocolate version, replace about 1/3 cup flour with 1/3 cup cocoa)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk or buttermilk (or half and half)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon almond extract (for chocolate version, replace with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cherries
sliced almonds or hot fudge sauce, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the flour and sugar (and cocoa, if this is the chocolate version). In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs, and extract. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring until the flour is moistened; it will be a bit lumpy. Gently stir in the cherries, being careful not to overmix.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle muffins with sliced almonds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and serve warm or at room temperature. Wrap airtight and store at room temperature for several days. The fresh fruit will make these soften up over time. I found that the texture had improved the following morning, but if your flour is in better shape than mine, this may not be an issue for you.

*Don’t have self-rising flour? Here’s how to make your own from scratch.


1 Response to “Pipe Dream #282: To Be a Hugger – Cherry Almond Muffins + a Chocolate Version”

  1. 1 Stone fruits cometh roundup + IRL messy vanity | piping dreams Trackback on May 14, 2015 at 9:02 am

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