1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 cup Neufchatel cheese, softened (I prefer to use light)
1 1/4 cup water, warm, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp vinegar
cherries jarred in water (about 12 cherries)
1 tsp butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup finely chopped or cherries jarred in water (about 3 cherries)
3 tsp water, warm, or more if necessary
Sift together flour, cocoa, 1 cup of powdered sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream Neufchatel cheese, about 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla together in a large bowl until blended.
With mixer running on slow, add flour mixture in small batches, alternating with remaining 3/4 cup of warm water, until batter is thoroughly blended; add vinegar and mix well.
Fill each muffin cup with a tablespoon of batter (you’ll have about 1/2 the batter left). Place a whole cherry in center of each muffin cup and top with remaining batter so each cup is about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins for 5 minutes in tin and then remove muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
While muffins are cooling, make glaze: Combine butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 chopped cherries and 3 teaspoons of warm water (add another teaspoon of water if glaze is too thick). Spread each cooled muffin with a thin layer of glaze.