Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups flour, sifted

1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 tsp baking soda, sifted

1/4 tsp. salt

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs , room temperature

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk, room temperature

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg one at a time until blended well. Add extracts to milk. Alternate with milk and dry ingredients ending with milk just until combined. Stir in dried chopped cherries.

Scoop batter into lined muffin cups , filling no more than 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until center comes out clean  when toothpick is inserted into the center.

Cherry Swiss Butter Cream

5 egg whites

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt

1 pond butter, room temperature

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup quality cherry preserves , processed in food processor until smooth

Combine egg whites and sugar into heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk over simmering water until sugar crystals are dissolved. Check with fingertips to see if sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat and place mixture in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk starting on low and gradually working up to high until stiff peaks are formed but not dry and cool to touch. With mixer on medium low speed add butter a few tablespoons at a time until all the butter is incorporated. Add the extracts and the preserves and blend until combined.

Frost cooled cupcakes and roll edges in chocolate sprinkles if desired.

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