Friday, November 26, 2010

Gingerbread Cupcakes and Baking For The Holidays

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  Ours was very quiet and non-traditional.  Our family visitors canceled their trip to see us; therefore we spent a cozy day at home, just the three of us.  I made my slow cooker chili recipe and we watched movies most of the day. 

Now it's officially Christmas season!  Even though it's 80 degrees here in Florida still, I'm seeking great holiday recipes.  I hope that if I can cook in holiday spirit, maybe the weather will come around too.

To kick off the holiday baking season, I made a batch of gingerbread cupcakes. My dad really enjoys gingerbread flavors and gingersnap cookies so I had him in mind when I made them.  They came out even better than I anticipated.   Here is the great tasting result:

Gingerbread Cupcakes

(Makes 10 to 12 large cupcakes or 24 to 28 mini cupcakes)

2 and 1/4 cups of unbleached flour (I used the white wheat flour kind)
3 large eggs
2/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of molasses, unsulphured
1/2 cup (1 stick) of light butter
1/4 cup of water
2 tsp of ground ginger
1 and 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/8 tsp of ground allspice

Lemon glaze topping (to place on the cupcakes):
2/3 cups of powdered sugar
2 tbsp of lemon juice (from 1 squeezed lemon)

Or make you own low fat frosting for the cupcakes, such as this one:

Low fat cream cheese frosting:
8 oz of reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or use a lemon extract)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease a 12-muffin pan with cooking spray.  Place your stick of butter and the 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl.  Melt them together in a microwave for about a minute.  Cover it with a napkin so it does not splatter everywhere. 

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and molasses until smooth.  Add in the eggs and continue beating. 

In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.  Pour the molasses-sugar-egg mixture into the flour bowl.  Add in the melted butter-water mixture.  Beat with a mixer until well combined. 

Your mix will look like this:

Yes, I realize that it looks similar to liquid dog poop but trust me, it tastes yummy! 

The batter may seem thick.  Add a tiny bit of water if you need to.  Then spoon out the mixture into the greased muffin pan.  Fill each muffin cup 1/2 or 3/4 full. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted into the cupcake and come out clean.  Allow cupcakes to cool for about ten minutes. 

While cooling, make your topping or frosting.  Whisk all the ingredients together until a smooth icing is formed.  Then spread over your cupcakes.

I chose to make the lemon glaze topping.  I whisked the lemon juice and powdered sugar until they were smooth.  Then I poured it over each cupcake.  The end result looked like this:

Yummy!  I was surprised at how great it tasted to be honest with you.  I guess I enjoy the gingerbread flavor just like my father does! 

I froze several of my muffins so that I can enjoy them again at Christmastime. I will defrost them in the fridge the day before we eat them.  Since I made the lemon glaze topping, I do not have to frost them later on.  If you want to use the cream cheese frosting, I'd suggest only covering the ones you intend to eat and freeze the rest as top-less.  You can always frost them later on.  Enjoy!

How do you feel about receving baked homemade goods as a holiday gift item?  What kind of food would you enjoy receiving as a Christmas present?

1 comment:

  1. What a perfect summer recipe! These are adorable,You are amazing! I could just dive into those pictures.These are divine! And "No Bake" is right up my alley, I might be able to make them:) Online Cooking Schools