Tiny Cherry and Almond Tea Cakes

While licking cupcake batter off my sweatpants, I commence to post the recipe for these sweet cherry and almond morsels.  Out of all my cupcake ventures, these are the winners. The seven silly eaters would say: It cannot be beat, since all our cherries make it sweet. As for its crunch, the almonds make it swell to munch. =D I doubled the recipe this time, because it always seems that telling each member of my family, “Every one can eat 3,” takes a little of their enjoyment away from them. We all usually want to eat at least 7, so I made more this time. The recipe calls for fresh cherries, but I have always used frozen dark cherries. The ones with the fresh cherries probably look cuter with the stem popping out of the cupcake, but there’s no way they taste better. And if you make the fresh ones, you have to eat around the seed and pluck out the stem, which would slightly interfere with my way of scarfing the whole thing down in a bite ;)
Ingredients (yields 30 mini)
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons vanilla
  • 30 sweet (Bing) cherries
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter, and dust lightly with flour.
  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to sputter, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove skillet from heat.
  3. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour in butter, leaving any dark-brown sediment in skillet, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Ladle 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about halfway. Push a cherry into each, keeping stem end up. With a small spoon, smooth batter over cherries to cover. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold. Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature overnight.
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