I believe that muffins should have frosting. And if they can’t have frosting, they should have streusel or sugar or nuts. We had an abundance of cherries at home and nothing to eat for a weekend breakfast, so I reached for my mixing bowls and went to work. These were simple, homey and good — eaten by a string of sighing guests in a single day.  But if there had been frosting — say, cream cheese frosting — then the cherries would have on top would have been exactly that. (And I wonder if the muffins would have tasted just a little like cheesecake.)

First, you pit cherries. This is a messy, fun job.

It is more fun to cook in pretty bowls with pretty spoons — my seashell spoons are from Anthropologie, last year.

I always lick the spoon.

My muffin cups are technically paper baking molds, but that means I don’t need muffin tins. And the result looks like I’m a professional. Buy them here: $7 for 18.

I was excited for Tyson to come downstairs and find that there were warm muffins waiting.

How to make them yourself:

Cherry-Almond Streusel Muffins

(Heavily adapted from The Barefoot Contessa’s Blueberry Muffin recipe)

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

~ Preparation ~

Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, lemon zest, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a fork, mixing just until blended. Fold the cherries and 1/2 cup of almonds into the batter. Don’t over-mix! With a standard (2¼-inch) ice-cream scoop or large spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared cups, filling them almost full.
  3. For the topping, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the butter is in very small pieces. Pour into a bowl and rub with your fingers until crumbly. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the streusel on top of each muffin. Top with remaining almonds. Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.