In Derek's family, a breakfast he grew up eating a lot was muffins with scrambled eggs in the morning. This has translated into our traditional Sunday-after-church-lunch for our family. It's not something that we're super strict about doing, but I'd say it happens at least twice a month. Yesterday on the way home from church Jay was super sad, and then said, "I want some muffins..." He had just finished his first day in Primary at church with minimal tears, and lots of smiles and laughs, so I felt obligated to make his request happen.
I'm typically not that person who makes muffins from scratch. Derek is pretty passionate about Betty Crocker mixes, and so that's what we usually make, or the pumpkin muffins from Trader Joe's. Yesterday though, we found ourselves fresh out of muffin mix and so on the way home I was googling recipes that I could make with ingredients we had in our pantry.
I was originally going to make cranberry orange muffins, but remembered I used the last of the craisins when I made these cookies, and all I had left in the pantry were some dried cherries. Derek was not thrilled at the prospect of having cherries in his muffins but once they were made we were all impressed by how subtle the cherry flavor really was, and the texture on the inside of these muffins were phenomenal. Jay was less than thrilled with the cherries and wound up not even putting one cherry in his mouth. He picked all the cherries out of his two muffins before even trying them, and then ate basically two plain muffins. To each their own. #threeyearolds.
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 350 and then line a standard muffin tin with 12 liners. In a small sauce pan, bring the cherries and the orange juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Once simmering, remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl, and then set aside.
Using an electric mixer in a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar for two minutes. Scrape down the sides and then add the eggs one at a time, and mixing well before adding the next. Once the eggs have been mixed in, using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture, and then 1/2 of the milk, then another 1/3 of the flour, the last 1/2 of the milk, and then the final 1/3 of the flour mixture. Make sure each addition is well mixed before adding the next. Finally, drain off the excess liquid from the cherries and then fold them into the batter.
When your mixture is all set, pour 1/4 cup of batter into your 12 muffin liners and then bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.