There are few sweets of my predominantly German-American heritage that give me more of a feeling of contentment and coziness than gingerbread. I am the first one to dismantle the Bahlsen’s lebkuchen display at the grocery store after it’s been set up for the Christmas season. I am also the first one to make the supreme sacrifice of volunteering to polish off that last piece of treacle-stuck Yorkshire parkin. Europe, particularly
Firing up the oven was the furthest thing from my mind as New York moves closer to summer’s heat, but I am reminded that not everyone on our planet is enjoying the same soft spring weather as we are at exactly the same time. Gingerbread is all about the fall, when leaves color and crisp, and a gratin can be found bubbling and browned. It is all about the warmth, too, and the warmth will be always welcome in my home, any time of the year.
Extreme Gingerbread Mini Muffins - Inspired by The Ginger People
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (yes, black pepper*)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup crystallized ginger slices, minced and
1/2 cup crystallized ginger slices, minced for garnish
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milkCrystallized ginger.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients, beating with a wire whisk. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients, beating until just mixed. Add 1/2 cup minced ginger and stir briefly. [If ginger is too tough and hard to cut, boil it in water for 10 minutes.]
Fill greased or paper-lined mini muffin pans 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes on center rack of oven or when toothpick inserted comes out clean. After 10 minutes, remove muffins from pans. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and milk until sugar is fully dissolved and icing in smooth. Arrange muffins on a grid over a large pan to catch drips. Pour 1/2 teaspoon icing over each muffin, then top icing with a few bits of minced ginger. Icing with harden within 15 minutes.
Make 24 mini muffins. --
* Black pepper is also used in pfeffernüsse (peppernuts) another famed German spice cookie. This will enhance the spiciness overall, but will not be uncomfortably hot.
This post is being submitted to Gourmet of un tocco di Zenzero, who is hosting Muffin Monday 03 - Spicy! for Elena Ho of Experiments, the creator of the Muffin Monday food blogging event.