Desserts

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

by Shawnda on July 4, 2014

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies,Cherries,Chocolate,Fruit

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

Raise your hand if you have been hoarding cherries! [raises hand]

[shoves cherry in mouth, wipes fingers on jeans, raises other hand]

If you’ve ever wanted to make fresh cherry or strawberry cupcakes, you’ve probably run into similar problems: the surprising lack of recipes out there with natural ingredients and real fruit. Because if it’s anything the food industry can do, it’s really process the &^%$ out of something.

(Don’t get me started on Pistachio Muffins that contain absolutely no pistachios whatsoever.) (YOU CAN’T JUST DUMP GREEN FOOD COLORING AND ALMOND EXTRACT INTO MUFFIN BATTER AND CALL IT PISTACHIO MUFFINS.)

[takes deep breath, smooths hair]

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

There’s no reason to use Jello, extracts, and unidentifiable chunks of [fruit]-flavored not-fruit at the height of cherry season.

I took my favorite cake recipe (the 1234) and folded fresh cherry puree into the batter along with the tiniest amount of almond extract. The result was a fluffy, moist, pink cake using only real cherries and actually tasted like cherries.

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

Until I dumped a bunch of chocolate glaze on top and then it just tasted like my morning 2-mile run never happened.

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes

Moist, fluffy, and pink cupcakes made with fresh cherries.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cherries, pitted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt*
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg whites (can use 4 whole eggs instead but the yolks might slightly affect your color)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1-2 drops red food gel (optional)
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Glaze
  • *An equal amount of buttermilk or sour cream would also work. I no longer buy buttermilk and just substitute nonfat Greek yogurt in all recipes.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with ~30 (sorry) cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together for ~3 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl a couple of times.
  3. Place pitted cherries and lemon juice in the blender or food processor and process until mostly smooth.
  4. Stir the yogurt into the cherries.
  5. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
  6. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract to the butter and mix until uniform.
  7. Add half the cherry mixture to the bowl and mix, switching the speed to low and adding half the dry ingredients.
  8. Scrape down the bowl and repeat.
  9. If you want to add 1-2 drops of food coloring, here is the time to do that - you don't have to, but if you don't think your batter is pink enough, just add 1 or 2 drops (I added 1 drop of Americolor Red Red).
  10. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake ~18 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center cupcake comes out with only moist crumbs attached.
  11. Cool completely before frosting or glazing.

Notes

Yields: 30 cupcakes

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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Fresh Cherry Coke Float Recipe

I grew up 40 minutes north of the 4th largest city in the United States. And it might as well have been 200 miles from the nearest civilization.

Back then, it was the last-Dairy-Queen, barely-a-dot-on-the-map before you hit that stretch of 59 that turned into 2 parts speed trap, 1 part scary hillbilly cop movie, and 1 part I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The grocery stores was tiny, the WalMart was even smaller, the town shut down on Friday afternoons during football season so everyone could stand in line at the concession stand under the bleachers for Frito Pie and a coke.

Not “Coke.” But coke. You probably called it soda or pop (or paaaaahp, giggle). But here in Texas? It was all coke. Whether you ordered a coke, asked for a coke, or were offered a coke, the next question was always the same: “what kind?”

And unless you were visiting from way out of town or just really lost, your favorite coke was Dr Pepper.

Fresh Cherry Coke Float Recipe

My mom was a walking Barbara Mandrell song and always dropped a handful of peanuts in her Dr Pepper. That? I never understood. I mean, maybe. Sweet, salty. But the only thing I want to chew from my glass of Dr Pepper is ice.

During the summer, mom would pack the ice cream maker in the sink with ice and rock salt, and then after what seemed like hours of rahnr-rahnr-rahnr, it was time for the greatest summer treat next to salted watermelon.

Dr Pepper Floats.

Fresh Cherry Coke Floats

With 23 (!!!) lbs of fresh cherries in the house, we took mom’s (peanut-less) Dr Pepper floats to the next, logical level: Cherry Dr Pepper Floats. Muddled fresh cherries, a couple scoops of HEBs 1905 Vanilla Ice Cream (move over, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla!), and not-from-Dublin real-sugar Dr Pepper.

Messy, fizzy, and creamy. And even better than I remember.

Fresh Cherry Dr Pepper Floats

What's better than a coke float? A coke float made with fresh cherries. And Dr Pepper.

Ingredients

  • 8 pitted cherries
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Dr Pepper

Instructions

  1. For each float, either muddle the cherries in the bottom of a frosty mug or pulse a few times in a blender (I vote the latter, especially if you're making more than 1).
  2. Scoop in the vanilla ice cream and then slowly (SLOWLY) stream in the Dr Pepper until full.
  3. Grab a spoon and a straw and enjoy.

Notes

Yields: 1 serving

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 minutes

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Drunken Cherry Galettes You know what’s better than eating cherries straight out of the bag for lunch?

WINE.

These individual galettes are not your average dessert. The rustic pie/tart/pastry-thingies are filled with red wine-soaked cherries, glazed with a red wine reduction, and then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It tastes like someone (me) spiked a cherry pie with wine (because I did).

And they couldn’t be easier. You take a dough circle (full disclosure: more like rounded squares and octagons), fill it with drunken fruit, and then fold the edges in.

Imperfection is the key here – because I’m almost positive that “galette” is French for “just throw that crap together because no one GAF what it looks like and pour me more wine.” (Gosh, the French are insanely concise. And bossy.)

Drunken Cherry Galettes

And sure, you need 2 hours for the recipe. But 90 minutes of that is actually you just drinking wine while watching Top Gear reruns.

Drunken Cherry Galettes

I used my all-time-favorite forever-and-ever-amen pie crust recipe for the perfectly flaky base. You could just grab one from the freezer section… but you might as well just make your own. Because what else are you going to do while the cherries are soaking? (Besides drink wine.)

Drunken Cherry Galettes

A buttery, flaky galette filled with red wine-soaked cherries.

Ingredients

  • For the pie crust:
  • 11 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water
  • For the filling:
  • ~1 1/4 lb cherries, (pitted to yield 1 lb)
  • 1 cup red wine (I used a merlot - anything you like to drink will work)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Juice and Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Cut in the butter (by hand or machine) until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is mostly the size of peas.
  3. Add 4 Tbsp water and mix, adding the last of the water 1 tablespoon at a time only if needed to make the mixture hold together when pinched between your fingers.
  4. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat it together into a disc.
  5. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. Pit the cherries and place in a shallow dish (I used a pie plate).
  7. Pour over the wine, lemon juice and zest, and sugar, stirring to mix well.
  8. Let sit one hour at room temp (longer is fine).
  9. Set a strainer over a sauce pan and pour the cherries into the strainer, scraping any undissolved sugar from the bowl, and drain well.
  10. Remove 1/4 cup of wine and set aside.
  11. Simmer the wine mixture in the pot until thickened and reduced to about 1/4 cup.
  12. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  13. Sprinkle cornstarch over the cherries and add the reserved 1/4 cup wine, stirring until well mixed.
  14. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, roll out on a floured surface into a circle, and mound 1/4 of the cherries in the center of each circle of dough.
  15. Fold the edges towards the center and drizzle 1 Tbsp of the liquid left in the bowl over each dessert.
  16. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  17. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
  18. Brush wine reduction over the fruit in each tart, top with a scoop of ice cream, and drizzle with more wine reduction.

Notes

Yields: 4 galettes, 8 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, pastry crust from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 2 hours

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Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

I hope you get a chance to thank a serviceman or woman this Memorial Day weekend. And buy them a drink.

Because there’s no such thing as too much appreciation when it comes to our veterans and service people.
Our freedoms aren’t by any means free. And without those fine folks, life would look a whole lot different to most of us.

Thank you to my cousin Justin, who has retired into a career of protecting and serving the good people of Sulphur Springs, Texas. And thank you to my brother-in-law Chris. And thanks to Jason’s cousin’s husbands (whew!) Scott and Daniel for their current and continued service. And let’s not forget the big, fat, gigantic “I just don’t know how you ladies do it but I’m sure glad you do” to Amanda and Sarah.

And a shout out to the heavens to my Uncle Sam and PaPaw.

We’re spending the early part of our weekend celebrating a PreK-4 soccer season with swimming and some truly (truly truly!) outrageous, fudgey brownies. Then on Monday, we’ll head over and let Landry plant a flag on my PaPaw’s grave.

Have a safe and thank-filled Memorial Day weekend, friends!

Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

Dense, fudgey, and incredibly rich brownies studded with triple chocolate cookie dough and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • Baking spray
  • 1 18.3 oz brownie mix + required ingredients (oil, eggs, and water) or your favorite brownie recipe that can be baked in a 13x9
  • 1 lb triple chocolate cookie dough (I used Specially Selected brand from Aldi)
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (or the temperature at which your favorite brownie recipe bakes).
  2. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with baking spray.
  3. Mix your brownie recipe according to package/recipe directions.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the batter.
  5. If pre-formed, chop the cookie dough balls into quarters and run the mixer for 5-10 seconds to distribute into the batter (if spooning from a bowl, drop by small spoonfuls into the batter and then mix well).
  6. Spread the dough evenly into the baking pan and bake until the center is set and a knife inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs - this was 10 minutes over the baking time recommended by the mix I used.
  7. Let brownies cool completely to set.
  8. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk.

Notes

Yields: 20-24 servings, based on size cut

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

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