This year one of my sisters gave me a gift for her birthday when she asked if her present could be a once-a-month-for-a-year goodie baked by me! Not sure who will come out the winner here--sure, she and her family will get to enjoy 12 different treats but I'll get the fun and challenge of baking 12 brand new desserts! These double chocolate cherry muffins are the first in the installment and they were a huge hit! If you like the combination of chocolate and cherry, you're going to love them!
Muffins are a fun way to spice up the daily breakfast routine. Though it's been a while since I've made any, I've already shared quite a few muffin recipes here, and just like my children, I love them all, but I think these might just be my favorite ones so far (as far as my kids go, I'm liking them all equally just about now, though depending on certain people's actions that could change at any time!) These muffins are moist and not too sweet but full of deep chocolate flavor both from the cake part itself and the chocolate chips that run throughout them. Plus, with every bite you get a bit chewy tartness from the addition of the dried cherries. Hey, they'd be good for dessert too, but with the word "muffin" attached to them, I have designated these as acceptable once-in-a-while breakfast food and I'm sticking to my story!
They come together very easily and make your house smell wonderful. Who wouldn't be happy to wake up to one of these?
And if someone delivers a basket of them to your house on your birthday morning (or at lunchtime because some people are capable of sleeping extremely late) it bodes for a good year indeed! Can't wait to see what next month's request will be. I'll keep you posted!
Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins
Makes 7-8 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 25-30 minutes
6 ounces, bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cherries (you can chop these if you like)
2/3 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a muffin pan with 8 paper liners.
2. Place the chopped chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler and place the bowl over a pan of barley simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and then until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool a bit.
3. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until the mixture has doubled in volume and is light and thick. Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture, then gently whisk in the flour mixture until just combined. Don't overmix. Stir in the dried cherries and chocolate chips and divide the batter among the lined cups. Smooth the tops and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the tray from back to front at the halfway mark. Muffins are done when the tops are domed and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out almost clean.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack in the pan. After about 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely. Muffins taste best at room temperature, but if you absolutely must, wait until they are just warm. If you try to eat them hot, you will scald the roof of your mouth!!
5. Store any leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats. I added the extra chocolate chips of course!