Tuesday, March 23, 2010

24. Cherry Glazed Chocolate Muffins with a Cherry Center

I am starting to experiment with muffins. Yes, I said it. I want, no I need something other than cereal for breakfast, and I don't really enjoy eggs. Now over the next few weeks you will all be subjected to my muffin whims! Seriously though, I was looking through the Weight Watchers site for a muffin recipe that caught my eye and this one certainly did. It looks like a cupcake, and its chocolate. Um, hello! Where have you been all of my life?! Now I followed the recipe to a T and my glaze was not nearly as pretty as theirs. To be fair, I added 3 drops of red food coloring to the glaze to give it more "pop". My muffins turned out amazingly pretty! It doesn't really matter though, these muffins are very satisfying and filling and easy to make ahead of time for a weeks worth of breakfasts or snacks! Plus, there are cherries in the center. Have I mentioned how much I like cherries? This recipe is straight from Weight Watchers! This is in no way my recipe! I just had to share the wealth!

Cherry Glazed Chocolate Muffins with a Cherry Center - 3 points per serving
Serves 12
Special Equipment: Muffin or Cupcake pan

2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
1 cup(s) powdered sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 cup(s) Neufchatel cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup(s) water, warm, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup(s) unsweetened frozen sour red cherries, pitted, left whole, or cherries jarred in water (about 12 cherries)
1 tsp butter, softened
1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup(s) unsweetened frozen sour red cherries, pitted, finely chopped or cherries jarred in water (about 3 cherries)
3 tsp water, warm, or more if necessary

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.

2. Sift together flour, cocoa, 1 cup of powdered sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.


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