Chocolate Chip Cherry Snack Cake
You may have noticed that the ingredients I have been using lately are all widely available at your local farmers market- i.e. in season. There is a reason for that. First of all, availability. As with today’s recipe, you can’t get fresh cherries year round, so if you are going to bake with them, now is the time. Yes, there are frozen cherries available any time (my own freezer has a few bags of them) but there is nothing like the flavor of fresh, homegrown produce. Second, quality. While my local super market proudly displays signs with the fruits and veggies grown right here in Illinois, and in some cases this very county, I always try to make sure I purchase the majority of my produce at the farmer’s market, rather than choosing items shipped from across the country sometime last week. I have gotten to know the people that grow the food and am reassured that what I am feeding my family was grown with minimal spraying and chemicals. Often times, small farms use organic practices but it isn’t worth the expense to be certified. Third, it is better environmentally. The fact that it was picked that morning, loaded in the back of a truck, and driven the few miles to town makes me breathe easier (literally) about the limited use of fossil fuels it took for me to have access to the peaches, vegetables, and grass-fed beef that I buy every week. My local options are a bit limited; we only have a half dozen vendors that come to our little market every week because we live in the middle of nowhere. But a 45 minute drive on a Saturday, and some parking and walking, gives me access a much bigger farmers market with dozens of local vendors, should I decide to expand my shopping experience.
The point is that no matter where you are geographically, nearly all of us live within a reasonable distance of a farmer’s market, a veritable treasure of freshness. Bonus! Bring the kids along and let them pick out something new! They may be more likely to eat it if they are the ones that discovered it!
But back to the cake…
I should let you know that this cake is not all that bad for you. Ergo, it is a little denser than a typical snack cake due to the addition of whole wheat flour. What pulls you in here is the flavor. It is basically the taste of chocolate covered cherries in a cake that is so moist, it won’t last longer than a day or two. The first time I made it I took a bite and sorta shrugged. Then I took another bite, and walked away. Then I came back and ate the whole piece, snagged a second helping, and then scolded my daughter for sneaking a bite and possibly ruining her supper. I may or may not have said this with my mouth full…Then I grinned conspiratedly and gave my daughter the fork, both of us finishing the second piece. And you know what? It didn’t ruin our dinner at all! My mother was wrong! This opens up a whole new world! “Excuse me?! Garcon! A third piece, s’il vous plait!”One Year Ago: Turkey Meatballs
Recipe adapted from Emily Malone
1/2 c white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c raw sugar or brown sugar
1 egg + 2 T water, lightly beaten together
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 c cherries-not frozen-pitted and halved
1/2 c chocolate chipsOn a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold together gently with a spatula, just until combined. Spread into a sprayed 8X8 or 9X9 pan and bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until evenly browned on top and a toothpick in the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan for several minutes before cutting.