Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Muffins (Because, Honey, It's Cold Outside)

As I type this post, Nashville has approximately 3 inches of snow (hard to tell because the wind is too strong).  As I grew up just slightly south of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, I am highly amused every time school is canceled for this mere dusting of snow....and then I watch my neighbors try to get out of their parking spots and I remember that it's not me I'm worried about out there, it's me getting hit by one of them that is the real cause for concern.

And so, tomorrow is a snow day for Thing 1 and I look forward to another day in our pj's, sipping hot cocoa and eating gingerbread muffins. The first batch I made of the muffins Saturday disappeared rapidly so I need to restock quickly. To be perfectly honest, we ate them for lunch while having a Harry Potter marathon...this might qualify as my new definition of heaven, by the way.

Per usual for my muffin recipes, this batch yields 12 large muffins. Preheat your oven to 400 while you prepare you muffins tins with spray and papers.

For ingredients, gather these items:

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup + 2 tbs sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup molasses (light or dark is a matter of your preference)

In a separate bowl, blend together the dry ingredients:

2 3/4 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbs ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Lastly, you will need  1 1/2 cups cold water.

Cream the butter and sugar, add eggs and scrape down bowl before adding molasses. Add in 1/2 of the dry ingredients, then half the water, the remainder of the dry and the remaining water.  The batter will seem thin but that is how it is supposed to be.
Scoop into your muffin cups and place the pans in the oven as you set your timer for 10 minutes.
When the 10 minutes is up, lower the heat of your oven to 350 and set the timer for another 10-15 minutes.

"Why did you just make me do that lowering the heat thingy?"

Because a high heat will help your muffins peak, instead of looking all flat and sad. However, due to the consistency of the batter, if you tried to bake them the whole time at 400, you would have burnt outsides and gooey centers. ick.

While your muffins are baking, mix together a glaze because you're going to use it while the muffins are hot. What? yes, for once, it's alright to ice a cake-like substance while it is still warm.

Traditionally, gingerbread is glazed with a lemon glaze (and this became a tradition because it's freakin' yummy).
Mix 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar with 5 tbs lemon juice and whisk with a fork until all blended.
Mix 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar with 5 tbs of water and a dash of vanilla and blend well.

Check the muffins for doneness by pressing lightly on them to see if they spring back. Also you can use a toothpick to poke the center to see if it is done.
After you have removed them from the oven, and while they are still hot, spoon the glaze over the muffins.
True confessions, I did this twice-once while the muffins were piping hot and again, later, when they had cooled a bit so the glaze would show up better  (because I feed children--if they can't see the glaze, it doesn't exist).

Remove the muffins from the pan once they have been glazed once so they can cool properly.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....


Sara Lesher said...

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! These sound divine & I can't wait to make them today! I really wanted to try my hand at your gingerbread tiles when I read your post the other day, but alas, I had no light corn syrup. As soon as I saw these muffins & the fact that I have every ingredient needed (thank goodness my meatloaf calls for molasses) I dug my muffin tin out & am ready to attempt these at some point during this cold & snowy day. Thanks so much for all your wonderful posts & fabulous reads!

betty crocker said...

You are so sweet. We are happily noshing on a fresh batch today :) I hope you like them as much as we do!'s all black ice under the snow-is it the same there?

Sara Lesher said...

Yes, from what I heard it's the same here.