Gingerbread! It's such a great winter flavor. I've actually been hoping to make a gingerbread flavored treat for a while now, so I'm glad I finally had an occasion to incorporate the flavor into a baked good. These muffins would be a great addition to have on your Christmas morning breakfast table. :) The pumpkin and molasses combination was very yummy.
The recipe is from King Arthur Flour. It gets great ratings online, so I figured it was worth trying!
-3/4 cup butter or vegetable shortening (I used unsalted butter)
-1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
-2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-3/4 tsp. salt
-2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. allspice
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
-3 large eggs
-2 Tbsp. molasses
-1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Or, if you'd like to make this recipe into bread, grease two 8 x 4 or 9 x 5 loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices, and mix well; the mixture will be crumbly. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the molasses and pumpkin until well incorporated. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups or loaf pans. If using muffin cups, fill 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake the muffins for 15 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Bake the loaves for 50 - 55 minutes.
For me, this recipe made 18 large muffins and 12 mini muffins. Now, you should know that I didn't follow the KAF recipe exactly with regard to the ingredients. The recipe calls for allspice, but I don't have allspice so I just added some ginger (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.) and cloves (1/8 to 1/4 tsp.). Also, the original recipe actually includes an orange glaze, which I bet would be quite yummy on these muffins. However, I honestly didn't have the time to add one more step to these muffins when I was making them! Also, the recipe has optional additions of pecans, chocolate chips, and/or chopped crystalized ginger. So, as you can see, I really kept this recipe as minimal as it could be. If you make these though, definitely refer to the original recipe to see if you might like to make some of the additions I didn't make!
I was very satisfied with this recipe overall. The muffins were flavorful and moist (a must, in my opinion, when it comes to homemade muffins!). The only thing I would wish for is a stronger gingerbread flavor. The recipe only calls for two tablespoons of molasses. I'm not sure if just adding more molasses would be an okay thing to do, as it might change the proportions of the ingredients in the wrong way... However, if I were to give my amateur guess, I would think that another tablespoon or two of molasses would actually be okay to add. It definitely wouldn't make the batter too liquid-y judging by the consistency of the batter when I made these, so actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that adding more like four tablespoons of molasses to the batter would be just fine. I think I'll do that the next time I make these, as there will be a next time! :)