The smell of gingerbread reminds me of home.
During the 10 days leading up to Christmas, my mom was always in full Gingerbread Mode, making gingerbread houses to give to friends and family at Christmas. And with each passing year, her list seemed to get longer and longer – there were teachers, and coaches, the neighbors. And then my dad wanted “a few” (read: a dozen) for his co-workers.
As if the sheer volume of 3 dozen gingerbread houses wasn’t enough, royal icing is a pain to work with when it’s humid. And it’s always humid in Texas. My three siblings and I sat for a couple of hours each night, assembly line, constructing and decorating gingerbread houses while listening to Christmas music. Aside from the occasional red and green foil-wrapped peanut butter cup that we’d sneak, it was torture. And we were usually less than cooperative.
I honestly don’t know how she’s not sitting in a corner in a straight jacket somewhere, rocking back and forth and humming Silent Night.
These muffins smell every bit as wonderful as mom’s gingerbread cookies. And unlike the cookies, you won’t get hit with that “I’m disappointed in you,” look when you snag one for breakfast. They’re clovey and spicy, a perfect balance of warmth and flavor. And they’ll make your house smell like Christmas.
Clovey, spicey gingerbread muffins perfect for a holiday breakfast.
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup fat-free greek yogurt
- Coarse sugar for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Cream the butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time until mixed well.
- Add the molasses and mix until well blended.
- Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only low until just incorporated and add the yogurt.
- Mix until the yogurt is well distributed and add the remaining dry ingredients.
- Mix on low only until the flour just disappears.
- Scoop into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle coarse sugar over the tops of the muffin batter.
- Bake 5 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350.
- Bake another ~15 minutes, until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs attached.
- Cool 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
Yields: 14 muffins
Estimated time: 40 minutes