Mmm cherries. Not just any cherries, mind you. Those, up there, see em? Yeah, those. They look good, don't they? I know. Rainier cherries quite simply are the best cherries around, if you ask me. They're so pretty too, don't cha think? I really intended on taking a picture of the light yellow flesh inside, but...well...I ate them all. Every bite I took I thought, "Ooh, I should really take a picture of the inside of one of these." *munch* "Meh. I'll do it later." and later turned out to be....well, never as you can gather I'm sure!
What's so special about Rainier cherries anyway? I mean, besides how gosh darn pretty they are. I know you are just curious as a kitten to know why, aren't you? Yes! You are! And because I know you are SO enthralled with this entry that you don't want to scurry off to wikipedia to find out why, I'll just tell you right here, okay?
Rainier cherries were created here in Washington state, at WSU in the early 1950's (ok, so they're a cross breed of two different cherry varieties). They are very finicky and according to my research, the best ones come out of Washington state, as they seem to love the rainy climate here. They're also grown in California, but the ones from here are bigger and basically kick the California one's asses (no offense, California, you know I luv u). Any hoo. They're also kind of spendy - usually about $4.99 a pound (!) and up. Since they were at the peak of their season when I got them, I scored mine at a mere $0.98 a pound! (btw, can I just say it reallly bothers me there is no 'cents' symbol on a standard keyboard?!) Steal of a deal, I tell you.
Which is why I bought a good 4 pounds (give or take). I had just gone through a few pounds of regular, boring old Bing cherries and made these really awesome cherry muffins. Since still had some of the coconut milk left from the recipe, I thought I would make another batch using some of my Rainier cherries. But...again, like with the taking pictures of the luscious and lovely yellow flesh inside, the making of these muffins never happened. On account of my eating all the cherries. Oops. They were good though, I can tell you that much. So are these muffins. You should really make them! I'm sure any type of fruit would be great to add, or even just chocolate chips and some nuts. The muffin base is a good start to add anything that might strike your heart's fancy.
pretend those are Rainier cherries you see in there, ok?
Coconut Cherry Petits Gateaux
adapted from the always inspiring and amazing Tartelette
One thing I love about these is how wonderfully they rise and have such a poufy top. I used a mini muffin pan and got 24 and also 1 large muffin out of this recipe. Makes 8-10 regular sized muffins.
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) coconut milk
2 tablespoons (30gr) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 3/4 cups (220gr) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved (I quartered mine for the mini muffin pan)
3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds, chopped (I used pistachios as that's all I had)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the center. Lightly spray or butter muffin tins or cupcake molds. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with hand held beaters) whisk together the sugar and the eggs on medium speed for 5 minutes.
3. With the machine running on low speed, add the coconut milk, melted butter and coconut extract. Beat for a minute to incorporate all the ingredients thoroughly.
4. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. Stop the machine and fold in the cherries with a spatula.
5. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins and sprinkle with the chopped pumpkin seeds (or pistachios).
6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.