For some reason, Valentine’s day always means cherry flavored everything. I’m a big fan of the fake-tasting cherry chip boxed cake mix, though I don’t really like to admit it. I took the idea of a cherry cupcake and ran with it, all the way to a real-cherry-tasting muffin.
This recipe uses flax in place of eggs. Before I ever worked with flax, I found it incredibly intimidating. It was always one of those weird hippie ingredients that popped up in the strangest places, not something your grandma taught you to bake with. On a whim, I bought a bunch of random ingredients I’d never worked with– ground flax, chia seeds, coconut oil, barley– and decided I’d figure out what to do with them later. The same barley is still sitting in my cupboard, but the others have become regular staples in my cooking (if anyone knows a good recipe using barley, send it my way!).
But on to these muffins! Sweet plump cherries, a hint of almond, and the nuttiness of flax in a soft, fluffy muffin. These come together pretty quickly and, if your panty is anything like mine, uses ingredients you probably already have on hand… unless you’re still afraid of flax, in which case: hurry up and try it already.
1 ½ c white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry, all purpose, or a gluten-free blend will work)
Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a muffin tin with liners– I recommend a spritz of nonstick spray when making low fat/no fat muffins.
Combine milk and cherries and either slowly heat on the stove until boiling or microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Watch the mixture carefully to ensure it does not overflow. The milk should take on a slight pink/purple hue. Cover and let rest while you continue.
Combine sugar, applesauce, almond extract, flax, and water until thoroughly mixed.
Whisk together baking soda and flour.
Pour the dry mixture into the wet and top with the cherry milk. Stir by hand until just combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin tin. You may notice air bubbles starting to form.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a center muffin comes out clean.
If you’re not ready to try flax, you can sub out the flax and ¼ c water for a large egg and splash of water.