Last night, in my recent effort to get rid of clutter, I pulled my collection of Martha Stewart Everyday Foods magazines out of a kitchen cabinet. I organized them in numerical order, starting with issue #1, to see if I had the complete collection. If so, I thought, maybe I'd try to sell them on Craigslist or maybe give them away to somebody who would use them more often than I do (i.e. once a year). I had every issue but one, #53, that must have been misplaced or left in a shopping cart or maybe never arrived.
I was all set to give them away--all 74 editions, minus #53--when I started flipping through the pages and salivating over the photos (it probably didn't help that I was starving). I decided that I would keep the magazines a little bit longer. And not just that, but maybe actually try to make some of the recipes.
That's how at 10:30 PM I found myself at the market buying cherries and brown sugar to make delicious little cakes that I would eat well past midnight.
Brown Sugar Cherry Cakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60 cherries (about 11 ounces), pitted
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup standard nonstick muffin tin. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time; beat until combined. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla, then flour mixture.
Spoon batter into prepared tin, filling cups about 1/3 full. Place 5 cherries on top of each; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in tin. Run a knife around edges; turn out of pan, cherry sides up. Serve warm, with ice cream, if desired.