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Cherry Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
10 ounces red maraschino cherries
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup confectioners' sugar
softened cream cheese -- optional


In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk egg, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Drain cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice for glaze (discard remaining juice or save for another use). Chop cherries; fold into the batter with chocolate chips and pecans. Spoon the batter by tablespoonfuls into greased or paper-lined heart-shaped or miniature muffin cups. Bake at 375 for 10-13 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Combine confectioners' sugar and reserved cherry juice to make a thin glaze; drizzle over muffins. Serve with cream cheese if desired.


Yield: about 4 dozen.





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