Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gingerbread Muffins

One of my favorite flavors this time of year is gingerbread, whether it's in a latte or a loaf. I love the flavors so much I think they are perfectly acceptable any time of year, however society might disagree. In any case, we're lucky it's the right time of year to enjoy these gingerbread muffins!

Although they are quite easy to make, I would heed the warning within the recipe to not overfill the cups. I was sure that I hadn't overfilled the batter, and even baked 2 additional muffins in another muffin pan, and mine still ended up being too full. They expanded a bit over the edges and sank in the middle as the recipe warns. The muffins were still excellent, however!

Although most people think of gingerbread cookies this time of year, as opposed to the more cake-like variation, I personally love gingerbread in loaves or muffins in this case. They are packed with flavor, heavily spiced, and so comforting with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning.

Gingerbread Muffins
Makes 12 regular or 6 jumbo muffins
(From Muffins & Biscuits)

6 Tbsp [85 g] salted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1/3 cup [80 ml] buttermilk
1/2 cup [120 ml] molasses
1/2 cup [100 g] firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups [180 g] all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
1 tsp confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°F [165°C]. Line a 12-well standard or 6-well jumbo muffin pan with paper liners or coat thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and the eggs. Add the buttermilk, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla and whisk until well combined. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper. Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula to carefully fold together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, or your muffins will be tough; the batter should still have a couple of streaks of flour.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin wells. Because these muffins have a lot of moisture, they are prone to collapsing a bit in the center. To prevent this, do not fill the muffin wells more than two-thirds full (if you have a little extra batter, make it into pancakes) and do not open the oven to rotate the pans during baking.

Bake until the tops are puffed and a muffin bounces back when you poke it gently in the center with a finger, 18 to 22 minutes for standard muffins or 25 to 28 minutes for jumbo. Because these muffins are dark in color, it’s a little more difficult to tell when they’re done. If you’re not sure, then slip a small sharp knife or a metal skewer into the center of a muffin; if it comes out clean, then the muffins are done.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the muffins from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool a little more. (Use a butter knife to lift the muffins out if you didn’t use paper liners.)

Dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar just before serving, if desired. Serve warm.


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