Over the past two weeks, I haven’t said much about the Olympics, but I didn’t want them to pass unnoticed. I love the pomp and circumstance of the opening and closing ceremonies and, of course, the games themselves. I dutifully watched an hour or so each night between after-dinner and bedtime. While it’s great when USA wins gold, I like all the athletes and most all the sports, especially gymnastics, swimming, and track.
This year, I was skeptical of beach volleyball as a sport rather than a spectacle. When a night of men’s beach volleyball followed a night of women’s, it seemed clear to me that it was all about the bathing suits, but, by the end, when it was USA vs. USA for gold, I had to admit there was more to it than I originally thought.
My sister-in-law Sheryl sent me a fun Olympic baking set with cupcake wrappers and decorations. Much to Howard’s disappointment, I didn’t get around to making cupcakes, but I did make Olympic muffins and brought them to share at work. They were super cute. I made one batch of raspberry and one of cherry. I preferred the cherry.
Makes 1 dozen
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted
¼ tsp almond extract
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (or grease each cup well with butter).
Whisk together flour, powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mash half of the cherries with the sugar. This will moisten the sugar with the fruit’s juice. Stir in the almond extract. Add the fruit-sugar mixture, the remaining cherries, buttermilk, egg, and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
Divide batter into the muffin pans, filling each cup about ¾ full. Bake 12-15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
It’s less than two years to wait for the next games in Winter 2014 to take place in Sochi, Russia. I can’t wait!