Life is Just A…

...Bowl full of cherries. That's right, I said it. You know why that's such a great metaphor? Because there's nothing better than a bowl full of fresh, bright, juicy deep red cherries. Can you tell I really like cherries? Yes, they are one of my favourite fruits.

I imagine the pit has something to do with the cherry/life metaphor too. Maybe something like, you take the bad with the good. With life though, unlike cherries, you can't just spit out the pit. It doesn't work like that. What you can do is try to move on after life's little pits and make the most of the delicious cherry flesh because sooner or later you finish that bowl of cherries and you want to have something to show for it.

You get what I'm driving at here right? Life is short. Life is sweet. Life is cherries.

So in celebration of life and my favourite spring fruit here are some cupcakes I made for you. No pits though. Promise. Cherry Almond Cupcakes Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.

Source: My imagination.

3 cup flour 1 tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 cup granulated sugar 4 eggs 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and rough chopped 1/2 tsp almond extract 1 cup milk Almonds, sliced and toasted for garnish Printer-Friendly Version

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the middle. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners then set them aside.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate larger bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed cream the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time mixing until it's smooth after each one and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the almond extract and chopped cherries then add the flour mixture in three batches alternating between the milk.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins until about 3/4 filled then bake them for about 25 minutes until the tops are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before you frost and decorate.

Cherry Cream Cheese Icing

1 250g pkg cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup unsalted butter, Room temperature 1/4 cup cherry puree, strained 3 – 5 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Note: Make your icing while the cupcakes are baking to allow it enough time to set up in the refrigerator. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat cream cheese, butter and cherry puree until it's light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until it's smooth and your desired consistency. Refrigerate the icing at least 30 minutes before using it.

When you're ready to frost the cupcakes fit a pastry bag with your favourite tip, I used a large star tip, and liberally spread the Cherry Cream Cheese Icing over each. After each cupcake is finished being frosted sprinkle the toasted almonds on top. Enjoy!

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