My hubby has a way of forgetting to tell me things. Like that we are having house guests. And that they are arriving the morning after our very late night return from being gone for a week and a half. In all fairness, he did remember to tell me. It’s just that he remembered at 2:30 in the morning as I was just about to fall into a deep coma after a long day of travel from one end of the continent to another.
It is times like this that a well-stocked gluten free pantry (and a clean guest room) comes in handy! After all, when people arrive at your home after a long flight from Europe it is only gracious to offer them a little something to eat to make them feel welcome.
After a few hours’ sleep and about a gallon of coffee I rummaged around my kitchen to see what I could whip up without having to run to the store. The freezer held half a bag of frozen dark sweet cherries and some sliced almonds, the fridge contained a few eggs and some butter and the pantry some Solo Almond Paste. And of course I always have other basics on hand such as good, pastry quality gluten-free flour, sugar, pure vanilla extract and baking powder. An idea was staring to form – muffins! Served with some coffee it seemed like the perfect thing for a light bite after a red-eye.
I love having house guests (even unexpected ones), I love my well stocked pantry and I love my husband (even when he just assumes I should be able to magically know everything that’s going on without the advantage of verbal communication). And fortunately, everyone loved these muffins!
(These muffins can easily be made dairy free just by using a good quality dairy free butter substitute in place of butter.)
Gluten Free Almond Cherry Muffins Recipe
1 cup (heaping) frozen dark sweet cherries
1 8-ounce can Solo Almond Paste
½ cup plus 3 teaspoons sugar – use divided
6 tablespoons butter (or dairy free butter substitute) melted and hot
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour blend
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
¼ cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Thaw the frozen cherries in a bowl and save any juices that accumulate. (You can do this either at room temperature or in the microwave at 30 percent power for 2 – 3 minutes.) Coarsely chop the cherries.
Break up the almond paste into the bowl of an electric mixer preferably fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the almond paste until it crumbles. Add ½ cup of sugar and the hot, melted butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the cherries and reserved juices. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Top each muffin with some of the sliced almonds and about ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until risen and golden brown.
Let the muffins cool in the pan and serve.
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