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Cherry Crowned Gems

Cherry Crowned Gems

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Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) jar (or 24) maraschino cherries with stems
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can pears in heavy syrup
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Granulated sugar for garnish, optional
  • Sliced almonds for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Drain maraschino cherries. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
  2. Drain pears and finely chop. Put chopped pears on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
  3. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, butter, egg and almond extract in a mixing bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Stir in flour; mix well.
  5. Fold in drained chopped pears and 1/3 cup almonds.
  6. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into 24 paper-lined miniature muffin cups.
  7. Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Place a drained maraschino cherry on top of each muffin.
  9. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 to 27 minutes, or until light golden brown on the edges.
  10. Let cool for 5 minutes in pans.
  11. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  12. Garnish each with a sliced almond, if desired.
  13. Store in a single layer in an airtight container.

Yield: 24 mini-muffins

Recipe and photo credit (used with permission): National Cherry Growers Foundation