Cherry Almond Muffins

Posting a recipe on this little blog of mine is long overdue.  Sorry!  And, since I got a request this morning for this very one mentioned on Facebook, well, I thought why not just get to it…  It is yummy after all, and a good one to try for any morning breakfast treat, but especially for Sunday.  Which is tomorrow.  So, get shopping and be ready to go.  It will be worth it.  Just be sure to use all the cherry preserves to get enough of this very important flavor in each bite!

Thanks, Cathy, for spurring me on!  And, thanks to repeat guests, Jim and Diane for sharing.  It only took me 4 years to make them!

Cherry Almond Muffins (14 regular or 7 jumbo)
Batter ingredients:
1 ¾ c. flour
½ c. plus 1 T. granulated sugar
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¼. t. salt
½ c. cold butter
1 egg
¾ c. sour cream
1 t. almond extract
1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
¼ c. granulated sugar
½ t. vanilla extract
¾ c. cherry preserves, slightly warmed
1/3 c. flour
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. cold butter
1/3 c. chopped sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350.

Make topping by mixing flour, sugar and cutting in butter until crumbly.  Stir in almonds and set aside.
Make filling by beating (use a mixer) cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla.  Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Separately whisk the egg, sour cream and almond extract until smooth, then add to flour mixture until moistened.  Batter will be thick.
Grease regular-sized muffin tin, or if preferred, a jumbo muffin pan.  Fill greased cups, ½ full with batter.  Divide cream cheese filling and preserves evenly between muffin cups; swirl gently to combine.  Cover with remaining batter.  Sprinkle topping over.  Bake for 30-35 minutes for jumbo pans; 20-25 minutes for regular pan.  Cool five minutes before removing from pans.  Bon Appetit!
MY NOTES:  After making these according to the directions, I would make the following changes next time:  Divide batter in ½ before putting in muffin cups.  Only add enough batter to fill approx. 1/3 of the cup, then make a depression in center of batter.  Spoon in preserves.  Add cream cheese in an even layer.  Top with remaining batter, then crumbly topping, then bake.  They are also good without adding a top layer of batter, just as long as you add a healthy portion of the crumbly topping to insulate cream cheese layer.  I made regular-sized muffins and got 12, not 14.