It never fails; every holiday season, I try to come up with different pretty little muffins and things that can go from breakfast to lunch to “snack time.” Whether it’s breads or loaf cakes or muffins or rolls, I like to have things on hand that can be grabbed at any time of day, whenever anyone pops in or decides they want one with a cup of coffee or tea… or a glass of milk. Because this is the time of year when people are always coming by, stopping in, etc. and you’ve gotta have something on hand to give these wandering wassailers, whether they’re coming morning, noon or night.
Cupcakes don’t always go with breakfast. And they’ve also got a shorter table-life than muffins. Muffins last forever, it seems. And in the new issue of the Food Network magazine, there’s a buttload of inspiration in the form of a booklet with 50 muffin recipes! So I guess I’m not alone in my idea that muffins make great snacks for last-minute guests, eh?
A lot of the recipes sounded amazing, but the ones I really liked I had bigger plans for. So I gathered up some things I had in my cupboards- dried Bing cherries & white chocolate chips, namely- and threw ’em into my favorite muffin recipe base. If I had had some pistachios, I’d have thrown them in there too. Pistachio goes well with both cherry & white chocolate. Oh- and cranberries would work just fine instead of cherries- both fresh and dried. The tartness of both cherries & cranberries work because of the sweetness of the white chocolate.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY MUFFINS
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons set aside
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter — melted and cooled
- 2 eggs – beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios (optional, I didn’t have any)
- Preheat oven to 400° F. and grease up 12 muffin cups or put liners in them (I prefer liners because it’s less messy that way).
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, cooled butter, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in cherries, then white chocolate chips. DON’T OVERMIX THE BATTER.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling them almost to the top; top each muffin with a sprinkling of sugar from reserved 2 tablespoons. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.
- Remove muffin tin to wire rack; cool 5 minutes and remove from tins to finish cooling. Serve with whatever you like, whenever you like.
The cool thing about the white chocolate chips in this case is that they don’t melt like semisweet or milk chocolate chips would. They stay whole, as do the cherries, so you taste each of them separately & get the texture too. That’s why the addition of unsalted shelled pistachios would be great! Not only would it make the muffins Christmas colors, but the texture of the three separate things would be awesome. Chewy cherries, thick white chocolate and crunchy-ish pistachios.
And they go great with milk & pretty paper straws, too.
Table runner custom-made for me by Yoyo of topstitch.org/topstitch.artfire.com