Its cherry season! I love the sweet and tart taste of cherries. Cherries are a very versatile ingredient and can be used in so many different recipes — everything from breakfast to dinner, and of course dessert. My last visit to Publix was met with some gorgeous looking cherries so I made sure to grab a bag. I knew I had to use them for some kind of baked goodie. I really enjoy the combination of chocolate and cherry, so when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for chocolate-cherry muffins, I got to work. The only problem? I didn't have all the ingredients needed, but I'm pretty good when it comes to substitutions, so I made it work. This is where you see how my laziness comes into play. Publix is literally right down the street, and I easily could have gone and bought what I needed, but nope...too lazy. I was a little nervous because I was missing a key ingredient (milk) and wasn't sure how well using water instead would work out. Without any liquid at all the batter was way too thick so I had to act fast and add something. Although my muffins didn't come out looking like the picture shown on the site with the original recipe, the changes were still successful, as my co-workers and friends who tried the muffins only had good things to say. I had lots of batter left over even after filling my entire muffin tray, so I made the rest into cookies.
The original recipe can be found on Bakerita. Check out my ingredients list and compare it against hers to see where I made a few changes. I used unsweetened applesauce in place of eggs because I was all out! I also used vanilla extract instead of almond, because, sheesh...almond extract is expensive! I already have plenty of vanilla, so I figured it'd be just as good. The worst part? Cutting up the cherries! I don't have a cherry pitter (hint hint to anyone looking to get me a housewarming gift) so this was a very messy process. My fingers were stained red for the rest of the day! But it was all in the name of baking, and it was well worth it!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar substitute (Splenda)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
4 oz. mini chocolate chips