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

{ 13 comments }

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

Happy July! You know what that means? The internet will drown in red, white, and blue foods for a week and Jason will sprain his side-eye before the holiday weekend at my obnoxious, overuse of the phrase “birthday month.” But it is my birthday month.

And if you’re already tired of looking at “patriotic” food that’s “absolutely perfect” for your weekend cookout, then you’re in luck. Because food can’t be patriotic. And muffins wouldn’t be my first choice to bring to a cookout either. (What would be? Banana pudding.)

But breakfast? TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

Fresh cherries (I think I only have 10 lbs left!), blueberries, white chocolate chips, and fragrant lemon zest are mixed up into my favorite muffin batter for one of those could-go-either-way dessert-breakfast hybrids.

The base muffin recipe has been my favorite for years. The batter bakes up into beautiful domes and the addition of nonfat Greek yogurt keeps the muffin tender, moist for days, and lower in fat.

Red, White, and Blue(berry) Muffins

So go bake these muffins and do something *truly* patriotic this weekend – like making hot dogs and setting off small explosives!

Cherry, Blueberry, and White Chocolate Muffins

A tender, moist muffin bursting with fresh cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 21 muffin liners
  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped, pitted cherries (~3 dozen cherries)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla.
  5. Beat in half of dry ingredients, followed by a third of the yogurt.
  6. Add remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.
  7. Toss cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate chips with the remaining 2 Tbsp flour and then add to the mixer, mixing for just a few more seconds to distribute evenly (the batter will be very, very thick).
  8. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
  9. Divide the batter evenly among cups using a large cookie scoop (my scoop is ~2.25 inches across).
  10. Bake for 10 minutes and then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for ~10-12 more minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely.
  12. Will keep ~4 days in a covered cake plate, can be frozen.

Notes

Yields: ~21 muffins

Base muffin recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Estimated time: 45 minutes

{ 8 comments }

Avocado and Grilled Pineapple Eggrolls

Before we start talking about the insanity of what almost amounts to deep-fried guacamole, let’s talk about safety.

Because there are some things you shouldn’t do on a school night. Like drinking most of a bottle of wine all by yourself.

And then come the things that you shouldn’t do after drinking most of a bottle of wine yourself on a school night. Like getting anywhere near an open flame and hot, splattering oil.

But there is one thing that you should totally do with hot, splattering oil when you have all of your fine motor skills about you so you probably won’t burn yourself 4 times in 10 minutes (how am I even still alive?): Make these Grilled Pineapple & Avocado Eggrolls.

Avocado and Grilled Pineapple Eggrolls

Several years back, I made a clone of the Cheesecake Factory Eggroll recipe. It was… work. There was cream cheese and sundried tomatoes in the filling with the avocado and I’ve always found that kind of an odd combo. Although I will totally dominate a plate without complaint and call it dinner once a year.

And then the sauce had a couple new-to-me ingredients that were pricey and ended up going to waste because what else was I supposed to do with the rest of a $12 jar of tamarind paste? You know, besides not buy it in the first place.

But the one thing that recipe did get right? Wrapping chunky avocado in a thin, crispy fried shell. It’s basically fried guacamole. And it’s not at all hard to accomplish.

Avocado and Grilled Pineapple Eggrolls

I basically made an extra chunky version of my very favorite guacamole, which is loaded with sweet and smokey cubes of grilled pineapple, wrapped that up in an eggroll wrapper, and fried for ~1 minute on each side. The dipping sauce was a crudely-measured, raid-the-pantry combination of soy sauce, honey, garlic, red pepper, and cilantro. Sweet, salty, savory, and slightly spicy all in a single bite.

And my poor burned fingertips (WHY DIDN’T I USE TONGS) have nearly completely healed.

Grilled Pineapple and Avocado Eggrolls

Avocado and juicy grilled pineapple are served inside crispy eggrolls.

Ingredients

  • For the eggrolls:
  • Oil for cooking (enough to be ~1-inch deep in your pan)
  • 4 small avocados, diced
  • 2 rings grilled pineapple, diced*
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • 1 pkg (16 count) eggroll wrappers
  • Small bowl of water
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced cilantro

Instructions

  1. *If you aren't working with leftover pineapple, remove the husk, slice into ~1/2-inch thick rings, and place on a preheated grill.
  2. Cook ~4-5 minutes each side until nicely caramelized.
  3. Pour cooking oil into a pan and heat over medium high.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the avocado, pineapple. salt, lime juice, red onion, and pepper together.
  5. Lay a single wrapper on your work surface, dip your fingers in the water, and lightly moisten all four the edges of the wrapper.
  6. Place ~3 Tbsp of filling onto your eggroll wrapper and roll (I didn't get photos buy you can see the step by step here.
  7. Working with 3-4 eggrolls at a time, place them in the heated oil (it should sizzle with a drop of water) and fry ~1 minutes each side, until golden brown.
  8. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and serve hot.
  9. To make the dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients together.

Notes

Yields: 16 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes

{ 6 comments }

Spicy Salmon and Grilled Pineapple Wrap

I have lost track of the number of pineapples we’ve grilled in the last two months. But that number shot up last week when they were .99 each. Because you know me and how I love to hoard a good produce sale.

If you’ve never grilled a pineapple, let me tell you what you’re missing out on. First, a fresh pineapple is so much more flavorful, vibrantly-colored, and crisper than canned pineapple. Give a sweet, yellow round to the grill and you get back a round of caramelized, lightly charred, smokey perfection that you can do anything with.

Margaritas. Guacamole. Nachos. Burgers. Tacos. Salsa. This salmon. And even more salmon!

Or, you know, slap two rounds on a plate and call it lunch. Or breakfast. No judging here.

Spicy Salmon and Grilled Pineapple Wrap

I had leftovers from one of my very, very favorite ways to prepare salmon (seriously, if you haven’t tried it – do it!) and wrapped it up.

Sweet, smokey pineapple. Spicy salmon and weapons-grade jalapenos. Crunchy kale and red onions. A supposed-to-be-cooling-but-not-really-because-that-jalapeno-was-just-way-too-&^%$#@!-hot dollop of Greek yogurt.

A healthy, satisfying lunch… or at least it will be when my face stops burning.

Spicy Salmon and Grilled Pineapple Wrap

Spicy Salmon and Grilled Pineapple Wrap

Leftover salmon goes lunch with smokey, grilled pineapple and cool, crunchy veggies.

Ingredients

  • 1 sandwich wrap
  • Greek yogurt
  • Leftover salmon filet
  • 1 grilled pineapple round, halved
  • Tomato slices
  • 2-3 kale leaves, torn to fit the wrap
  • Sliced jalapenos (or not)
  • Sliced red onion

Instructions

  1. To grill the pineapple, remove the husk, core, and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Grill on med-high for 4-5 minutes each side, until nicely caramelized.
  2. Spread a dollop of Greek yogurt over the wrap.
  3. Top with salmon, pineapple, tomato, kale, jalapenos, and red onion.
  4. Roll up and cut in half.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. (Optional) Bury face in a snow bank to put out the heat.

Notes

Yields: 1 serving

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

{ 3 comments }