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   Cherry-Crowned Almond Pear Gems

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (15.25 oz.) Bartlett pears in heavy syrup, well drained, finely chopped, and patted dry*

1/3 cup sliced almonds
Sugar
1 jar (6 oz.) or 24 maraschino cherries, well drained and patted dry*
Sliced almonds for garnish (optional)

   In mixing bowl, stir together 3/4 cup sugar, butter, egg, and almond extract. Stir in flour until well-combined. Fold pears and 1/3 cup almonds into batter. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. batter into each of 24 paper-lined miniature muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar. Place a maraschino cherry on top of each. Bake at 375º for 25 to 27 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Garnish with a sliced almond, if desired. Makes 24 servings.

*Use paper towels to pat excess moisture from pears and cherries.

 


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