The Time Is Here!….

26 Nov

…for Christmas baking to begin!ย  With Thanskgiving long gone, it’s time to start dishing out Christmas goodies. Well, maybe “long gone” isn’t quite right. I actually still have one Thanksgiving dinner left to eat. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that after getting married you have twice as many holiday dinners, because you need to eat with both sides of the family. Lucky for me, bothย my family by blood and family by marriage happen to both be great at cooking. ๐Ÿ™‚
So maybe Thanksgiving isn’t a thing of the distant past. but the truth is….if I don’t start now, I’ll never be able to try all of the Christmas recipes I want to make. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a couple of months, and was just waiting for the holidays to come so that I could try it out. I’dย  never heard of a gingerbread cupcake before one of my friends introduced me to mingmakescupcakes, a blog with lots of great recipes. But once I heard the name of these, I knew I would be in love. I love the taste of gingerbread cookies, but I’m generally not a fan of crunchy cookies. I like the soft versions much better. ๐Ÿ™‚ I knew that the taste of a gingerbread cookie in the soft texture of a cupcake would be marvelous. Search mingmakescupcakes for the full recipe. I’ll show you how your batter will look along the way.

Of course you’ll need to gather together several ingredients. A few different spices are needed here: ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, plus some other basic cupcake recipe staples. (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that you’ll need sugar, butter, and flour) ๐Ÿ™‚

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set it aside for a little later.

In your next bowl you’ll start working with all those wonderful smelling spices. You’ll beat together the butter, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. And you’ll swoon from the aroma in the process. I wish someone had already invented Smell-O-Vision by now. If I could take a picture of how this smells and post it to the blog, I guarantee it would convince you to try this recipe. It might even help me win some sort of blogging award. After I smelled all of this goodness mixed together, I startedย  moving around the kitchen a little quicker. I wanted to get these cupcakes in and out of the oven as quickly as possible so that I could taste them!

Once it’s all mixed together well it will look something like this:

Now it’s time for the molasses. Until trying this recipe I couldn’t remember ever using molasses before. When I opened up the jar, I decided to take a big sniff to see what it smelled like. Eh. I wasn’t a big fan of this aroma. Maybe because it was just so strong? I was a little worried about dumping this into my heavenly smelling batter.ย  But, I decided it was probably a necessary part of the gingerbread flavor. Besides, once mixed in with all of the other ingredients I was sure it wouldn’t smell so strong. I crossed my fingers that it would end up enhancing the other flavors instead of overpowering them, and dumped 1/2 cup into the bowl. This stuff is thick and sticky!

The eggs will also go in at this point, and then you’ll see a smooth mixture that looks like this:

Lastly I added the flourย  mixture and the sour cram. For some reason, I didn’t see anything about the flour mixture being added into the recipe. Maybe there was a small typo/omission when the recipe was being typed. So I just tossed it in towards the end of the batter process and hoped for the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

I would definitely be licking this bowl right about this point if it didn’t have raw eggs in it. Now it’s time to get these into the oven. Cute Christmas cupcake liners aren’t mandatory, but they sure don’t hurt. ๐Ÿ™‚ I found these great liners at Michael’s. 75 of them for only $2!

The recipe says to bake these for 30 minutes. That sounded like a long time to me, compared to other cupcakes I’ve made in the past. I wondered if I should check them sooner. I decided to check on them at 25 minutes, just to be on the safe side. I figured even if they weren’t done it would be easy to stick them back in the oven for 5 more minutes. I’m really glad I did this. I think if they had stayed in the oven for the entire 3o minutes they would have been overdone. Even at 25 minutes, I think it wouldn’t have hurt for them to come out a tad sooner. In the future, I’ll check on them at 20 minutes and go from there.

While these were cooling I started making the filling/frosting from the recipe. I decided not to go to the trouble of filling these cupcakes, and just ice them instead. I added a little extra powdered sugar to the filling recipe to stiffen it up just a bit. As written, it seems just a little too soft to frost a cupcake with (of course, it would have been perfect for filling). It was very easy: mix the cream cheese and butter, add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla and beat until it’s smooth.

I piped this icing on and then added one little piece of garnish on top. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hadn’t necessarily planned on putting anything on top of these cupcakes. But when I was at the grocery store buying ingredients for them, I happened to run across these…

How perfect are these?!? I like the idea that by placing one of these on top of the cupcakes, it makes them cute but also makes a statement about the flavor. If these cupcakes were just sitting in the office break room by themselves with cream cheese icing, your co-workers might not know what to expect. But a little gingerbread man on top gives them the perfect clue. ๐Ÿ™‚

One taste of these, and I knew they would become a part of my holiday baking traditions for years to come. Try them for yourself, and I bet you’ll agree. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a recipe that you’ll want to have on hand again next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next Up: Not entirely sure yet, but keep your eyes peeled for more Christmas treats. ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Thought of the Day: How long has it been since you made a gingerbread house? What is your favorite candy decorations to use for them? I’ve always loved using peppermints and gumdrops on gingerbread houses. ๐Ÿ™‚

The End!

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One Response to “The Time Is Here!….”

  1. Jessica Llanes November 29, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    These look YUM-O! I am *definitely* putting these on my to-bake list

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