Cherry Struesel Muffins


I’ve been thankfully blessed with an ever seemingly flowing deposit of cherries at market this season.
My fingertips are stained and I’ve finally invested in a cherry pitter it’s been such a bumper year.

The other day, with another bowlful of cherries, I was called by a neighbour to do some reno snooping and a visit. Since I didn’t want to show up empty handed, she was letting me look at the inside of her closets after all, I grabbed for my cherry pitter and a bowl.

We were a little late but the muffins were still steamy when we arrived. After peeking at her newest addition, we had coffee and the muffins. She had two and I got the name of her contractor. Pretty good trade.

CHERRY STRUESEL MUFFINS
350ºF 18-20 Minutes

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Bing Cherries, pitted & roughly chopped
1/3 Cup Safflower Oil
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/3 Cup Orange Juice

Struesel Topping

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Oatmeal
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Walnuts, chopped
3 Tablespoons Earth’s Balance Butter

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a regular sized muffin tin.
In a small bowl combine the milk, oil and orange juice.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
Add the sugar and stir in the wet ingredients.
Pit the cherries and roughly chop. Fold in the cherries, and spoon into prepared muffin tin.

Combine struesel topping together and mash butter with a fork until evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly.
Generously top each of the muffins with the struesel mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester can be cleanly removed.

Makes 12 muffins.

Waste Not.


Have a kid who won’t eat crusts? I do. So instead of having it continuously irritate me, I’ve decided to please both parties.

I was inspired after reading this New York Times article about wasted food. Where I’m really happy I live in an area which makes us separate so they can collect our organic waste, I was still annoyed at the pile of crusts at the end of most every lunch.
Determined to end the fight but win the battle, I started cutting the crusts from my Darling’s cucumber sandwiches. This little princess must have thought she’d died and gone to heaven, but dare she know that I was storing the crusts in the freezer and watching them accumulate.

Knowing they wouldn’t go bad in the freezer, like the brown bananas, and vegetable scraps before them, they were ready and on hand for anything I might be ready for like, crumbs, croutons or bread pudding.

Bread pudding that her highness had little trouble polishing off for dessert.

Now I just have to plan for those cherry pits.
For other great grocery money saving tips, check out the article put together over at Everyday Food.

CHERRY CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

4oz Semi Sweet Chocolate, roughly chopped
2 Cups Bread (Crusts), any kind, whole wheat, flax, oat, just be sure it’s at least a day old and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Brandy
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder, cornstarch will work as a substitute
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Fresh Cherries, pitted & roughly chopped – dried may be substituted when out of season
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Nibs, very optional but quite delicious

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Cube the bread and set aside in a large bowl.
Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in a double boiler), stirring occasionally until smooth.
Measure milk in a pourable measuring cup.
Add the vanilla, brandy, sugar, salt and arrowroot powder, stirring well to incorporate and dissolve the arrowroot powder.
Pit the cherries, I used the flat side of my chef’s knife to pop the cherry open and the pit little more than a flick from your fingertips.
Roughly chop the cherries, reserving as much of the juice as possible.
Pour the milk mixture over the cubed bread, then add the cherries and their juice along with the cocoa nibs, if using.
Toss well to coat the bread and to soak up the liquid.
Drizzle over the melted chocolate, stirring well to combine.
Pour mixture into a short baking dish or divide between 4 – 1 cup ramekins.
Bake for 15 minutes.

Best served warm and with just about any ice cream you like.