Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Hot Peppered Gingerbread Muffins
I know, it's not Christmas yet. But, that's no reason why I can't enjoy a good gingerbready treat. I firmly believe that gingerbread, like pumpkin, can and should be eaten throughout the year whenever the craving hits you.
Of course, when the craving does hit me, I don't want something with just a hint of spice. No, I want something with a powerful flavor that makes me say, "Now THAT'S gingerbread!!!" So, naturally, I was drawn to this recipe for Hot Peppered Gingerbread Muffins from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book. One look at the recipe and you can see that this is loaded with every type of spice imaginable. We're talking 5 tsp. of mixed spices + 3 whopping tablespoons of fresh ginger. At one point, I even started to wonder if this might possibly be too spicy, even for me (and that's saying something). But, the adventurous side got the best of me and I decided to go for it all the way. The only changes I made was to omit the mustard (since I didn't have any), use all white pepper instead of cayenne, and substitute hot water for the coffee (since I don't drink coffee).
One thing to note is that the batter will be very, very thin. I almost wondered if I should have added less water. But, do not worry. It all works out and they bake up beautifully.
As for the taste, I will tell you right now, do not skimp on the spices. It seems like a lot, but they all combine together for the good and make for one absolutely yummy gingerbready muffin that is full of flavor (not overly flavored). I've never tried any other recipe for gingerbread muffins before and I'm not sure that I ever will because this one is a keeper!
Hot Peppered Gingerbread Muffins (adapted from Sweet Melissa Baking Book)
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. powdered dry mustard (I omitted this)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I just doubled the amount of white pepper)
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. vegetable or canola oil
1/2 c. molasses
3 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
2/3 c. hot coffee (I used hot water)
Grease your muffin tins (1 standard 12-cup muffin tin or 4 mini muffin tins).
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat the eggs and sugars until thick. In a slow, steady stream, add the oil and molasses. Stir in the grated ginger.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the hot water and mixing well after each addition. Pour the batter into the muffin cups and bake at 350F for about 15 min. (for the mini muffins) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy.