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Tag Archive for almonds

::sweet treat:: Cherry Almond Cupcakes

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Ahhh!  It is almost the holiday weekend! Just a little while longer! I am completely un-excited about this weekend except the idea of spending a few uninterrupted days with PTB. I apparently have a cold! Who gets a cold in the Summer? It started with some sneezing Monday, and now has gotten progressively worse to the point that today I am full-on sick. It has killed my cooking-mojo since I am dizzy when I am standing up. But I realized that I had perfect posts to share for the holiday weekend, so I am here writing this up. It is the least I can do 🙂

I know everyone else is still going to have a great weekend, so I thought some ideas for picnics would be good. I was thinking about all the “patriotic” posts that have been everywhere this week. I was thinking how cheesy food is kind of obnoxious sometimes. And by cheesy I mean red cupcakes with bright blue icing and white candy stars on the icing. We are still part of the no kids group. I don’t need bright blue icing to enjoy a cupcake. I really don’t even need it to involve red, white and blue to eat it at a picnic for a national holiday. There will be flags hanging. I don’t need to eat one too.

But cherries. Cherries are one of those things that scream summer to me. And they are red. So patriotic! So this is why I thought, if you wanted to take a patriotic dessert with you this weekend, these cupcakes would be perfect. Oh! And there isn’t any icing – so they will be fine sitting on a picnic table!

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. I hand-mixed the batter with a wooden spoon.

What You Need
Step One

2 cups blanched almonds, divided
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Step Two
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Step Three
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step Four
~2 1/2 cups halved sweet cherries (~1 lb fresh)
Step Five
2 Tbsp brown sugar

In a small food processor, chop half the almonds to coarse chunks and set aside. Chop the second half coarsely and remove 1/4 cup setting aside separately from the first cup. Ad flour, baking powder, and salt to the food processor and grind to a flour consistency. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, mixing in one at a time, and then stir in vanilla extract.

Slowly stir in almond-flour mixture.

Fold in the cherries and the 1/4 cup of chopped almonds.

Stir 2 Tbsp brown sugar into the remaining cup of almonds.

Divide batter between 18 cupcake papers (~2/3 full). Top each with almond-sugar mixture.

Bake for ~20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes on cooling rack, then allow to cool completely out of muffin pan.

Yields: ~18 cupcakes

::how to:: Blanch Almonds

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Once upon a time, I didn’t even know what a blanched almond was. I have certainly heard the term blanch, but it just sounds gross, so I have avoided it. But then, I wanted to make something that called for blanched almonds. I like almonds, how bad could it be? So trusty Google led the way. And now I will do the same for you.

So blanching. It is essentially quickly cooking something by immersing it in boiling water, and then quickly switching it to ice water to halt the cooking process. Again, it sounds kind of gross. The main purpose of doing it for almonds is to remove the skins. Ready?

Measure out your final amount of almonds.

In a pan your almonds can be in a single layer, pour boiling water over the nuts for EXACTLY one minute.

Immediately drain hot water and run cold water over the almonds until cooled.

Now you can simply slip the almonds out of the skins. After be sure to dry the almonds as well.

Done!