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Cherries and Cream Muffins

2 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened tart cherries -- divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light cream OR 1/2 cup half and half OR 1/2 cup milk
Granulated sugar

Cut cherries in halves while frozen. Set aside to thaw and drain.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, almond extract and vanilla, beating well. Crush 1/2 cup cherries with a fork; add to batter.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in half the flour with a spatula, then half the cream. Add remaining flour and cream. Fold in remaining cherry halves. Portion batter evenly into 12 paper-lined or lightly greased muffin cups (2 3/4 inches in diameter). Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated 375 oven 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serving size: 1 muffin

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