This is my favorite time of year in San Diego. The weather is absolute perfection (not that the weather here is ever bad), ranging from 73-80 degrees, the sun is constantly shining, the races at the Del Mar Fairgrounds have begun, and the amount of hot surfers you see while driving down the 101 is absolutely ridiculous…sorry freeway, I think I'll be taking the coast from here on out.
Even better than the sun and the surfers though (um, better? Debatable, but we'll go with it) is the produce. Farmer's markets are full of tomatoes, figs, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and a plethora of weird fruits and veggies I've never ever heard of. Even the strawberries from the grocery store are bursting with sweetness. I'm always overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous fruits and vegetables this time of year, because I want to bake with them all! However, one of my favorite fruits that comes with summer is cherries. I absolutely love cherries.nasal polyp treatmentrc=”http://www.bakerita.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/IMG_7304-1024×732.jpg” width=”600″ height=”428″ />They're sweet, fun to eat, the most beautiful color, and so delicious. There is just something sexy and mysterious about cherries, don't ya think? Or am I the only one who thinks fruit can be mysterious? Anyways, cherries are just darn good, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who can agree on that.
Their one pitfall *cough cough* though, is their pits (so punny, get it?). The main reason I tend not to do anything with cherries except eat them right off the stem is because of their pits. Frankly, it's a pain in the butt to get all those pits out. However, this past week, as some of you may have seen on Twitter, the kind folks at OXO sent me a cherry pitter and ice cream scoop to celebrate it being cherry season once again!
I got super excited and knew I needed to make a cherry-inspired dessert. I settled on muffins, using my favorite muffin base recipe. I added a bit of almond extract and a hint of dark, bittersweet chocolate to complement the sweet cherries, and the result was perfection. A hit of drizzled chocolate on top was the icing on the cake. These muffins were moist, delicious, and each flavor was perfectly in balance. I'm patting myself on the back for these! So, pull out your cherry pitter and get pitting! These babies are worth it.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, room temp.
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped very finely
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour vegetable oil into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup; add the eggs, almond extract, and enough milk to reach 2 cups. Gently whisk together ingredients in the cup with a fork or small whisk. Stir into flour mixture. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Fill muffin cups almost to the top.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or a toothpick comes out cleanly.