It’s No Lie: February is National Cherry Month

 
 

By Michelle Ann Anderson

Contributor

George Washington's birthday is this month (happy 278th, George!). And so it seems only fitting that we pay tribute to the little fruit that, thanks to a story taught in every elementary school in America, is inextricably linked to the founding father.

Here are a few simple cherry recipes to get you started. For more, head over to choosecherries.com.

Miniature Chocolate-Cherry Cheesecake

These little gems are perfect for little hands - and so easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 18 prepared vanilla wafer or ginger snap cookies
  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup prepared cherry pie filling

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the cups of 18 miniature muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cup; set aside.

Step 2: Make the filling. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth; stir in the grated chocolate.

Step 3: Fill and Bake. Fill each wafer-lined muffin cup 2/3 full of cream cheese filling. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool.

Step 4: Add topping and serve. Makes 18 cheesecakes.

Chunky Chocolate & Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

These chewy cookies are loaded with oats and dried cherries.

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • pinch kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray; set aside.

Step 2: Mix together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.

Step 3: Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Step 3: Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture; stir well. Stir in oats, cherries, chocolate and almonds until evenly distributed.

Step 4: Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto prepared pans; space about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Cool on racks. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Cook's Note: Dried cranberries make a delicious substitution for cherries.

Cherry Almond Milk

Here's a delicious way to get the kids to drink more milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups milk

Directions:

Place cherries, extract and milk in a blender. Process until pureed. Enjoy. Makes two servings.

Besides her two favorite jobs of wife and mom, Michelle Ann Anderson home schools her children is a freelance writer, enjoys public speaking, writing cookbooks and sharing her love of food with those around her. You can find her blog at MichelleAnnAnderson.com.

 
 





 
 
 
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