I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Almond Amaretto Cherry Muffins

Almond Amaretto Cherry Muffins

A basket of nice, sweet muffins is a wonderful addition to a breakfast or brunch table, and these almond-y bites are made really moist with the addition of almond paste. A  bite-sized version of my Simple Moist Almond Cake. Nice tart cherry is a great pairing with almond – if you use big Bings, you might want to snip them into smaller pieces.

Almond Amaretto Cherry Muffins

¼ cup amaretto

4 ounces dried cherries

7 ounces almond paste

½ cup sugar

6 Tablespoons butter, melted

½ teaspoon almond extract

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Place the cherries in a small bowl and pour over the amaretto.  Leave the cherries to soften, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Beat the almond paste, sugar, melted butter and almond extract together with a mixer until well-blended, but with a few small lumps remaining.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until completely combined.

Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bow, then beat into the almond mixture.  Beat just until the mixture is combined and there is no flour visible.  Stir in the cherries with the soaking liquid until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 – 18 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

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