I'm a bit wary when I see baked goods made with cherries. This is because lots of recipes call for dried cherries, which I find, well, dry. How lucky was I to find a bakery in this town that sells a cherry almond muffin that uses fresh cherries instead of dried. The fruit make the muffins so moist and their tartness nicely offset the sweet dough flavored with almonds. This recipe was inspired by that bakery and makes wonderful muffins with a crunchy topping.

Makes 12 muffins

You will need:


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you assemble the muffins. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, butter, and almond extract. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is incorporated. Drain the cherries, give them a quick rinse in water, and fold them into the muffin mixture. Divide the mix into 12 muffin cups that have been lined with paper liner and sprayed with oil to prevent sticking. If you would like, top the muffins with the raw sugar and/or the slivered almonds for decoration and to add a pleasing crunch. Pop the pan into a 400 ° F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. These muffins are best served warm but they also freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave on a rushed morning.

Variations: This batter can also be placed into a greased 9 by 5 inch bread pan to make cherry almond quick bread. Unfortunately, I have not tried this so I don't know the best cooking conditions. Try cooking the bread in a 350 ° F oven for one hour. You could also try substituting fresh or frozen raspberries for the cherries since their flavor blends well with almonds. Tart rhubarb could also replace the cherries.