Christmas may seem a long way off for some of you, but with Baker Street's holiday series in full swing, it certainly smelled like Christmas around my kitchen this weekend!
Anuradha offered us a basic Gingerbread recipe, giving us plenty of room for creativity, so I'm excited to see what the other Muffin Monday bakers have devised this week.
Every week, MM participants tell funny stories about how the people in their households have begun to expect and anticipate the new week's muffin. Well, F. was asking me for Muffin Monday muffins by Wednesday of last week. When I told him I'd need Muffin ESP in order to do that, since we don't get the recipe until later in the week, he was pretty disappointed - in both the outcome and my inability to read An's thoughts. Poor boy had to wait.
Generally speaking, when I try to come up with twists for my muffins, I look for words like 'glaze,' 'streusel,' and the ever-ambiguous 'topping,' in an effort to keep the muffins muffin-like, and not to confuse them with their sweeter, cupcake cousin. I failed in that effort this week, but I'm more than ok with that.
My knee-jerk response, initially, was to drizzle these with my go-to cream cheese glaze. Maybe with a hint of citrus. In the interest of not becoming too predictable, however, and in forsaking my beloved cream cheese, I opted for a brown butter frosting. It's a first in my kitchen and - ohhh my - certainly not a last. (I can always make them with cream cheese next time, because I do think it'd be a gorgeous combination.)
The gingerbread turned out a little drier than I would have liked, so the generous heap of buttery goodness was a welcome feature and helped to balance that dryness out. Also, it should be added, I'm not so well-versed in the ways of frosting and decorating, so pardon the disheveled appearance of my muffins. I can never seem to get frosting to stick or sit smoothly. This is a skill I'm really interested in working on and experimenting with in the coming months. In the meantime, tips are most welcome!
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whole milk
Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening, or place paper baking cup in each muffin cup.In large bowl, beat brown sugar, molasses, milk, oil and egg with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients, just until flour is moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes, before frosting.
For the frosting, melt the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat, roughly 6-8 minutes, until nutty brown and aromatic. Strain the butter through a fine-mesh sieve (you don't want any of the dark brown bits in your frosting) into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.
I really encourage you to stop by Baker Street to check out all the Muffin Monday bakers and their Gingerbread Muffins, as well as Anuradha's Muffin 101 and her latest installment of 6 quick bread recipes. Her website is a great resource for baking!