I have been craving chocolate even more than usual lately.
My mom and brother seem to be suffering from the same disease lately, so I am starting to wonder if it is a highly contagious communicable disease. Fortunately, a cure was not too hard to find!
After rummaging around the freezer and pantry to scope out the potential ingredients, I discovered that we had some frozen cherries that we had never gotten around to using.
I have to admit, as a child I claimed to hate cherries. To be fair, I had only ever had cherries in pies. The slimey, squishy texture was unbearable. Many years later, I was very surprised to find that I not only liked, but greatly enjoyed, fresh black cherries. I would eat them every day, if they were in season. I learned two important things that day: 1) do not say you dislike a food based on one dish 2) when it comes to food, TEXTURE MATTERS.
These muffins avoid the slimey, squishy texture by being in a delightfully chocolate muffin with no oozy pie juices coating it. Being in a baked good rather than a pie [wait, is a pie considered a ‘baked good’?] it finds the proper balance between being moist but not oozy.
I would make a few slight changes to this recipe next time. I would add just a little more sugar (maybe brown sugar? dark brown sugar?) and work extra hard to make sure the cherries were fully thawed, and fully drained. I think I did not do as thorough a job as I should have. Consequently, when I checked to see if the muffins were done baking, I would inadvertently stick the toothpick through a cherry, and it would look like the muffins were not done yet. This led to slightly over-done, dry muffins. Still enjoyable, but there is still definitely room for improvement. I might also play around with adding a second egg to the batter. I believe it would help with the slight dryness and give them more of a fudge-like texture that I love so much. With that in mind, here is the recipe that I started with:
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white whole wheat flour
3/4 c quick or old-fashioned oats
1/2 c cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c milk
1/2 c low-fat plain yogurt*
1 tsp vanilla extract*
1/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c frozen tart, unsweetened cherries, thawed and drained well
Servings: 16 muffins
Heat oven to 375oF. In a food processor, combine flours, oats, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Process until it forms a well-mixed powder. Pour into a large bowl, and add milk, yogurt, vanilla, and egg. Stir until well-combined. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries. Pour into lined muffin tins, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Enjoy!
*For these, I only had vanilla yogurt, so I used it, and left out the vanilla extract.