While San Diego is a wonderful place and beautiful in its own desert-on-the-ocean way, I have to say that I miss the greenery and trees that populate the east, especially in the early summer. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Michigan, surrounded by lakes and trees, but I think that greenery is incredibly restorative. And Dave, who grew up in Pennsylvania, was missing his Appalachian mountain road trips and pleasant drives through the hillsides.
Basically – it was nice to be back. 🙂Emily’s wedding was absolutely beautiful, set on-top of a hill overlooking the Appalachian mountains for miles on either side. There was a lake in the distance that we could see from the ceremony. It was incredibly peaceful, relaxed, and magical.
Juxtapose that with today, back from our trip, entering straight into a Southern California heat wave, back to my full time job, laundry that needs do-ing, and an apartment that hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. It’s a dire state of affairs at The Gourmet Gourmand household.
I just want to go to a cabin in the woods and stay there permanently, alone, with 1000 fantasy novels. (Maybe Erwin and Dave can come too sometimes..) But because we’ve been so busy with travel lately, I’ve been trying to find recipes that are simple, quick, and easy for me to make and photograph. Conveniently, I’ve found, that this is what many of you blog readers are actually most interested in (who would have thought, right?). I have to confess that I tend to be a complicated recipe lover… favoring authenticity and amazing flavor over everything else. But sometimes, when life happens, we need recipes that are fast, easy, and also delicious.
These chocolate cherry muffins fit that bill.I found this recipe over on the Williams Sonoma page and tweaked it a bit for my personal preference (i.e. I added chocolate chips, because, well, that just seemed necessary). The muffins found their way to my office for eating and received rave reviews, if that helps to convince anyone that these are necessary in your lives.
So enough babbling, and I’ll let the photos and this recipe speak for themselves.
Time to get back into the swing of things… wish me luck!!
Chocolate Cherry Muffins
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbs. 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus more for garnishing.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12- cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
- Place the baking chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over water. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from over the water and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer, in a large bowl beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in the brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Next, mix in the egg, vanilla and melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, and mix just until smooth.
- Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Spoon the batter evenly between the lined muffin cups, filling them completely to the top. Don't worry if they are slightly over-full.
- Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top of the muffins to garnish.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest on a baking rack for about 2 minutes, then remove from muffin tin to cool completely.
- Best served slightly warm.