Cherry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Ingredients
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1½ cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 3 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 cup granulated white sugar
    • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
    • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
    • 2 cups (one dry pint) pitted fresh or frozen cherries (if using frozen, do not thaw)
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin; or line the tin with papers, and grease the papers.
  2. For Muffins
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs with the milk and vanilla extract.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingertips. (The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.)
  5. Remove one cup of the mixture and set aside in a separate bowl to make the streusel topping.
  6. Gently fold cherries and lemon zest in the remaining muffin batter.
  7. Add the milk and egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
  8. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.
  9. Streusel Topping
  10. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir into the reserved one cup of flour mixture until it is crumbly and looks like coarse meal. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the streusel on top of each muffin.
  11. Bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes, until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
  12. Remove the muffins from the oven, loosen their edges from the pan, and after about 5 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool.
  13. Yield: 12 muffins.
  14. * If using fresh cherries, dust them lightly with flour; this helps prevent the cherries from “bleeding” into the muffins. If using frozen cherries, add them frozen to the batter; this will help prevent them from “bleeding” our their juices.
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