Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gingerbread Muffins

Before you think I’ve gone off the deep end of Mount Crumpet into full Grinch-itude, here is an actual holiday-flavored recipe. A good one, too.

These gingerbread muffins are nicely spicy with plenty of ginger paired with molasses for a classic flavor. They have a soft texture that’s still in the quick bread range, so you could have them for breakfast and argue that you’re not eating cake. Speaking of quick bread, I think you could probably convert this recipe into gingerbread by pouring the batter into a bread pan. Or, you could probably make it a coffee cake by putting it in a cake pan and sprinkling a brown sugary streusel on top. Both of those variations would require a change in baking time. You could also add some dried fruit or crystallized ginger or chopped nuts.

Perhaps if I was entertaining I would try something fancier with these flavors. (Heck, even gingerbread cookies seem fancy to me right now.) For the moment, however, I’m content with simplicity in my holiday flavors. And muffins are definitely simple, and, I’d say, versatile, since you could eat these for breakfast or dessert or afternoon coffee or tea or to fuel you through decorating and shopping and visiting and, well, more baking.


Gingerbread Muffins
Adapted from The Ultimate Muffin Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

1. Melt the butter. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Whisk or sift to combine. Set aside.

4. Beat the eggs until smooth and frothy. Beat in the cooled butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar and beat until well combined. Whisk in the milk and molasses, continuing to beat until smooth.

5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

6. Distribute the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 F for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with no wet batter clinging to it.

7. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Gently remove from the pan and cool another 5 minutes or so on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Freeze leftovers and warm in the microwave to serve.

Makes 12 muffins.


One year ago: Cranberry Bars

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