Hello lovelies! I was browsing through some of my pictures and realized that I'd totally forgotten to tell you about the gingerbread muffins I made for finals week! So, here we go!
On the Sunday night before finals week, I thought "well... Monday's normally suck pretty badly in the first place... but tomorrow is going to suck even moooooorreee! Finals start!" So, obviously, it would have been criminal to start the week without muffins (ugh! preposterous!) Someone in the studio had requested gingerbread muffins, so it was perfect: our last week before our holiday break and we needed a powerhouse Muffin Monday to get us through the trauma of finals week. Double-whammy.
Orange Gingerbread Muffins
I found this recipe on epicurious.com and made some adjustments and fine tuning. Here we go!
2 2/3c flour
1 tbs baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of salted butter (soft–but not melted– or at room temp)
1/2 C sugar
2/3 C dark molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 C water
3 tbs orange juice (fresh squeeze it!)
1 tsp sugar
First, preheat the oven to 350º and put muffin papers into a muffin baking pan. Then, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set it aside.
Now, take out your stand mixer or hand mixer (I used a hand mixer) and cream the butter and sugar together. Just a little reminder about the butter: it's better to leave it out beforehand if you know you're going to be baking... but if you're a bit forgetful like me and forget to leave it out, just pop it in the microwave–but beware! Don't let it get too soft in there and melt, because it could cause the consistency of the batter to turn out all wrong. You should aim for a stick of butter that is very very easy to mush when you touch it, but hasn't begun to melt yet. So, after you've gotten that all mixed in together, add the eggs one at a time. I've been told to try and get the eggs to room temperature too, but like I said, I'm forgetful. Normally I leave the eggs in a little bowl of hot/warm water while I'm mixing up all the dry ingredients and such, just to give them a little nudge toward room temp. After the eggs are all beaten in, then add the molasses and vanilla. (Quick tip: add a teensy but of vegetable oil to the measuring cup and swirl it around before the molasses goes in. It'll make pouring the molasses back out a lot faster and easier)
Next, you'll add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three parts (add a third, mix, add another third, mix... you get the picture...) Then you'll gradually add the water until it goes from looking like:
To this! ------>
Horray! Now, fill your muffin papers 3/4 full and pop those babies into the oven! The original recipe that I read suggested that you bake these muffins for 25 minutes, but like I always say learn your oven! Mine were all good to go in 17 minutes! Big difference, huh?! It's good to keep a watchful eye when you're doing your first round of muffins– just to make sure they aren't getting too terribly toasty...
While those are baking, take the orange juice and stick into the microwave just for about 20 seconds or so. You just want to warm it up just a little. Then, add the sugar into the juice and mix it up until the sugar is dissolved. When the muffins are finished baking, take them out of the pan and place them onto a rack/towel/counter/whatever. While they're still warm, spoon a little bit of the orange juice mixture onto the top of the muffin and let it sink in. Horrah! Now, just let them cool off, stick them in a container, and bring them to your very excited coworkers!
I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and yummy holiday! More to come soon :)