20 January 2009

Cherry Chocolate Muffins

When I was little, my parents used to can Door County cherries every year (I think they were Door County, anyway - my mom would put in an order at the grocers every year for a giant container of them, and then she'd split it up and jar them for use throughout the year). My absolute favorite use of those cherries? After-church cherry muffins. You knew it was going to be a good Sunday when our parents sent us down to the dark chilly basement to get a jar of those cherries off of the canning shelf.

Theirs were soft, warm muffins dotted with juicy cherries, and slathered with a thick smear of butter. Oh, so good. Here's my own version. Who doesn't like chocolate in a muffin, right? And for those of you giving these the sidelong glance and mumbling about mislabeling: no way, these are absolutely not cupcakes. They are a proper breakfast muffin. Do you see any frosting on these suckers? Yeah, that's what I thought. Told you, definitely muffins. Duh.

Anyhoo: I used a dark chocolate-cherry bar for the chocolate in this recipe (compliments of my sister Anne), which helped deepen the cherry flavor. In the spirit of my roots, I also used canned cherries. These muffins were soft, moist, and dense (but not too heavy); the cherries were, as they always are in muffins, so good. Ah, perfect.

Cherry Chocolate Muffins
(adapted from Dorie's Chocolate Chocolate-Chunk Muffins)

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder, sifted
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 c. pitted tart cherries

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 F. Butter or spray a 12- slot muffin pan, or line with muffin liners. Place pan on a baking sheet.

Melt butter and half the chopped chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (or in the microwave). Take off heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla together until well combined.
Pour the buttermilk mixture and the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix gently but quickly to blend, but do not over mix as this will toughen the muffins. A few lumps are OK! Carefully stir in the remaining chopped chocolate and cherries.

Divide batter among the muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool pan on a rack for 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan.


Snooky doodle said...

these look great . I would be very happy to wake up in the morning to eat these for breakfast. Cherry and chocolate is an explosive combination :)

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I've had a fantasy of pulling together an Ina Garten type brunch for years - wanting to have savory dishes as the main with a really good muffin basket for a little sweetness. I think I finally found the muffins! These look SO good!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, what a great coincidence - I came here to tell you that I made your wonderful cherry choc chip cookies and there's a cherry recipe right up front! :D
I posted your delicious recipe on my blog, linking you as the source. I hope you don't mind!
Tks for sharing great recipes.

Kristina Emmons said...

Nemmie, are you from Wisconsin, or do they ship Door County cherries around the country? I am from WI originally so I know all about those. :)

Stephanie "keckie" said...

Oh my goodness! I have to make these! Thanks for posting it!

JR Buckley said...

We just made this recipe, substituting dark chocolate chips for the bittersweet.

They came out so AWESOME! I'm glad we made a double batch!