Friday, November 14, 2008

The Ginger-iest Gingerbread Muffins

You know the best way to start a Friday morning? By discovering you have pinkeye! It's really attractive and feels great.

So after discovering I had pinkeye, I called off of work and made a doctors appointment. Since I had ample amounts of time, I decided to bake. I thought briefly about not baking something until my eye cleared up and then I thought it through and decided that I probably wouldn't make anybody sick unless I first rubbed the butter straight into my eye before adding it to the recipe. Or cried contaminated tears into the batter. Neither of which I planned on doing, so I decided it was safe.

Anyways, I'm taking a short break from cookies, I'm a bit cookied out. Since I've been making all these delicately spiced cookies, I wanted a really strong, spicy dessert, so gingerbread jumped to mind right away. I looked over some recipes and settled on a gingerbread recipe from Martha Stewart because it used fresh grated ginger.

The recipe makes a pan of gingerbread but I distrust full sized desserts so I made them into muffins. I'm 5'0, it's in my nature to make mini-sized things.



Gingerbread Snacking Cake

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan; set aside. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light. Beat in brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses and grated ginger, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in eggs.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares; dust with confectioners’ sugar.
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Changes I made: I subbed half the butter for my homemade applesauce to make a bit healthier. I figured it would work fine since gingerbread is supposed to be fairly light and fluffy, not rich and buttery, and it indeed worked fine. I also used fresh nutmeg since that's all we had and prepared them muffin style, beating all the liquids together and barely mixing in the dry mixture. I ended up baking them about 18 minutes and came out with 18 muffins. And oh, I chopped up some crystallized ginger and sprinkled it on top of some of the muffins since we happened to have some.

Oh, don't do as I did and try to grate the ginger over the bowl. I dropped the ginger into the batter and had to fish around for awhile trying to find it. I found it, then I grated my knuckle on the microplane. It's a comedy hour every time I bake. Recently I was getting something from the fridge when the freezer door above me came open for no reason, so when I stood up I slammed my head against the freezer door.

These things don't happen to normal people, I don't think.


But look at how dark these suckers are! They look like chocolate cake, no? They're really good, light and super gingery. Not for the faint of heart. Definitely satisfied my craving for spicy fall flavors, I'll keep this recipe around.

Funny story about the doctor's office: the nurse who came in to explain my prescription was the same nurse who nearly killed me last time when she drew my blood. She said, "I recognize you, have you come in recently? Oh, I know! I drew your blood!" Ah, perhaps you remember me because the room looked like a scene from CSI when you were finished with me. I'd remember that too.

I have a statistics quiz on Tuesday, my last one of the semester, so I have to go spend some quality time with my calculator. With pinkeye. Fabulous.

4 comments:

meeuh said...

Soph, you have to make that upside down gingerbread pear cake! It has PEARS.

Sophie said...

Argh, I do need to make that, I keep forgetting. Next time I'm at the grocery store I'll get some pears!

meeuh said...

Send one of your boy minions. After all, you have the pinkeye. You should stay in your nice, warm apartment and heal...

Sophie said...

If by stay in my nice, warm apartment and heal you mean work 8 hour shifts in the hospital with patients with MRSA than yes, I've been doing that!