I’m gonna sidebar here for a moment and describe a food experience I had this weekend that has nothing to do with these muffins. This is totally out of the ordinary, of course, because my posts are usually so topical (said no one ever). Here goes. I finally tried coconut water. I know, I know, I’m about 1 year behind on this particular trend, but it was one of those things that I was always meaning to try but was always too lazy to go out of my way to acquire. So this weekend, I saw it on sale at my grocery store (impulse shopping, it’ll get you every time) and decided to buy a carton.

There’s really only one thing I have to say about coconut water. YO, THIS SHIT IS RANK. Or rather, this particular beverage is not quite to my liking. But really, THIS IS SOME NASTY ASS EXCUSE FOR WATER. I mean, I didn’t expect it to taste like coconut milk or anything, I just figured it would taste like water but with a faint hint of coconut essence. Not even close. It tastes like someone left rotten fruit in a bowl of water and then decided to bottle and sell it. Sorry for the visual. It was so disgusting I googled it and apparently its putrid taste is a known fact. How did this become such a huge thing? Have all those people I would see coming out of the gym chugging a bottle of this stuff really been secretly gagging the whole time? I’m actually looking at the carton right now and on the back, there’s a little icon that says it’s the Official Coconut Water of the Olympics. As if those poor athletes weren’t already suffering enough in Sochi, they also have to drink this shit? Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

I do have to say though, as a marketing major and someone who works in advertising, I have to give huge, gargantuan props to the people who have been marketing this junk. Well played, you assholes. Well played.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Muffins (68 of 750)

Adapted from 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury
Makes 36 mini-muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2  cup dried cherries, roughly chopped and tossed in flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, yogurt, and butter until well combined.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in chocolate chips and dried cherries.
  5. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until tops are firm at the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Okay, I’ll be topical now and start by saying that I’m not a fan of cherry garcia ice cream. Which doesn’t make much sense, because I adore cherries and I love chocolate – separately. I can’t even really pinpoint exactly what it is that I don’t like, I just know that the combination makes me gag. Tastebuds – can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em, am I right??

I was understandably a bit apprehensive about making these muffins, especially when I opened the bag of dried cherries I bought and was immediately assaulted with the scent of sickly-sweet artificial cherry flavor (the Ocean Spray brand says they’re dried cherries with cherry juice – I should’ve gone organic!!), but these turned out less like cherry garcia ice cream and more cherries and chocolate, separate. If the term “separate but equal” didn’t have such terrible connotations, that’s how I would describe the flavors here.

One important step is to make sure you lightly toss the dried cherries in flour and separate them. We all know how sticky dried fruit gets, and no one wants a muffin that has a clump of like 20 cherry pieces, so tossing them in flour really helps make sure they’re evenly distributed in the batter. The result is a fluffy, tender muffin with little pockets of chocolate and cherry – the perfect balance of sweet and sour, and the perfect amount for breakfast. These muffins aren’t going to roundhouse kick your tastebuds in the face or anything, but they will give you a little gentle nudge to help you start your day. And some days, that’s really all you need.