Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gingerbread Muffins

I love gingerbread.  It is one of those foods that not only tastes good, but also makes me feel good.  There are so many special times, places and people I associate with gingerbread that when I have it, it not only fills my  belly, but it also fills my heart.

My first memory of making gingerbread is from 4-H.  I was in 4th grade and can clearly remember being at the teachers house making a gingerbread cake with a lemon glaze.  The kitchen was warm and sunny and the smell and texture of the cake were amazing.  This memory is made even more special as I eventually became very close friends with the teacher's son.  Todd was a wonderful kid who unfortunately had his life taken from him way too young.   I had the 4-H recipe for many years, and even though I only made this cake with Todd once -before we were good friends, I always associated this recipe with him.  I never made that recipe after he died and unfortunately  I haven't seen the paper with the recipe on it for a few years, but I am sure it is still around somewhere.  Not sure I would make it even if I found it, I think I want to leave that recipe memory alone.

Even though I won't make Todd's recipe it doesn't mean I am giving up on gingerbread all together, it is too yummy! So each year I look for and make new recipes.   This year I opted for gingerbread muffins, these are the perfect afternoon snack, or breakfast (just make sure the kids are gone so you don' have to share).   We ate most of the muffins before I made the glaze.  The lemon in the glaze adds a nice flavor, but these muffins are just as yummy without.

Gingerbread Muffins
Printer Ready

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 muffin pans with baking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium high speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the egg until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the molasses until incorporated.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the hot water.
Pour batter into muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, there may be a few crumbs.
Allow to cool in the tins on a wire rack until completely cool.