3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons sanding sugar (optional)



Preheat oven to 375. Place rack in lower third of oven. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. Add egg mixture to well. With a spatula, gently stir ingredients just until batter is moistened. Do not over mix. A few lumps are fine. Fold in cherries and almonds.

Spoon batter into muffin liners. I filled each liner about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. I used red sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. I baked mine for almost 22 minutes but, I would start checking them at about 15 minutes. I let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then removed them to a cooling rack.

Adapted from May 2008 issue of Everyday Food from the Kitchen of Martha Stewart Living better-than-basic-muffins.