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4 Jan 07
Cherry-Glazed Chocolate Muffins Ingredients 2 sprays cooking spray 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp table salt 3/4 cup Neufchatel cheese, softened 1 1/4 cup water, warm, divided 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 Tbsp vinegar 1/2 cup unsweetened frozen sour red cherries, pitted, left whole, or cherries jarred in water (about 12 cherries) 1 tsp butter, softened 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1/8 cup unsweetened frozen sour red cherries, pitted, finely chopped (about 3 cherries) 3 tsp water, warm, or more if necessary Instructions Preheat oven to 350ºF and coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners. Sift together flour, cocoa, 1 cup of powdered sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream Neufchatel cheese, about 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla together in a large bowl until blended. With mixer running on slow, add flour mixture in small batches, alternating with remaining 3/4 cup of warm water, until batter is thoroughly blended; add vinegar and mix well. Fill each muffin hole with a tablespoon of batter (you’ll have about 1/2 the batter left). Place a whole cherry in center of each muffin hole and top with remaining batter so each hole is about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins for 5 minutes in tin and then remove muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. While muffins are cooling, make glaze: Combine butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 chopped cherries and 3 teaspoons of warm water (add another teaspoon of water if glaze is too thick). Spread each cooled muffin with a thin layer of glaze. Yields 1 muffin per serving. Note: If you’re a mocha fan, you can adapt this recipe to your liking and skip the cherries altogether. Just replace the warm water in both the batter and glaze with an equal amount of hot coffee and add about 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of instant espresso powder to the glaze for an extra jolt; remove all cherries from recipe.