Originally from Gourmet Magazine in the late 80's. The combination of flavors in these muffins is exquisite.

Chocolate Cherry Nut Muffins

2 C all-purpose flour
½ C sugar
1 T baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 T freshly grated lemon zest (optional, in my opinion)
¾ C miniature semisweet chocolate chips
½ C slivered blanched almonds
1 C fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped, plus 12 whole pitted cherries
1 C milk
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/3 C unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 large egg, beaten lightly

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and combine in a large bowl with the zest, chocolate chips, and almonds. Stir the mixture well, then stir in the chopped cherries.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, butter, and egg. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until the batter is just combined, and divide the batter among 12 well-buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins (the tins will be full.) Press 1 whole cherry lightly into the center of each muffin and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are pale golden and a tester comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the tins for 1 minute, turn them out onto a rack, and let them cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins

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