Tuesday, 17 November 2009
I think ginger has to be one of my favourite spices. There is nothing I like more than digging into a warm slab of tasty gingerbread . . . a sweet gingerbread cookie. My Gran made the best Molasses Cookies on the planet, filled with . . . you guessed it . . . ginger! Wow, were those ever good with an ice cold glass of milk.
My mom still makes them whenever we go home to visit and it's a real treat. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I bake them myself . . . the taste of mine never quite lives up to the memory of the taste of my Gran's or my Mom's! Funny how that goes!
When my children were growing up I used to create a huge gingerbread cookie fantasy for them every year. Sometimes it would be a house, with clear coloured candy glass windows, and a roof tiled with delicious sweets. One year I did a church, complete with stained glass candy windows. Another year it was a gingerbread Christmas Tree, with silver dragee garlands, gummy bear ornaments and other fancies all over it. In recent years I made a Ginger Cookie Wreath centre piece for my Christmas Table, which you can find HERE on my Oak Cottage Blog. It was so much fun, and looked so nice sitting on the middle of my Christmas Table.
I am sure you have the idea now . . . I just love gingerbread, in any way, shape or form.
Like these tasty cupcakes. Now these dear friends . . . are totally moreish. I think it's the lemon glaze . . . that is, well . . . the icing on the cake! (Of course the preserved ginger in syrup on the top doesn't hurt either!!)
*Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Icing*
Ohhh . . . soft, sticky and moist and chock full of lovely ginger flavour, these cupcakes are real husband *pleasers* . . . and, come to think of it, wife *pleasers* too!
60g butter (generous 4 TBS)
50g soft light brown sugar (4 TBS)
2 TBS golden syrup
2 TBS dark treacle
(If you can't get the golden and dark treacles,
do use 4 TBS mild molasses instead)
1 tsp ground ginger
80 ml whole milk (5 1/2 TBS)
1 large free range egg, beaten
2 pieces of preserved stem ginger in syrup,
drained well and chopped finely
140g self raising flour (1 cup)
For the Topping:
the juice of one lemon
(bring the lemon to room temperature and roll it on the counter
a few times under the palm of your hand before squeezing)
200g icing sugar, sifted (generous 1 1/2 cups)
1 piece of stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped
1 TBS chopped candied ginger
Pre-heat the oven to 170*C/325*F. Line a muffin tin with paper cakes and then set aside.
Place the treacles (or molasses) butter, sugar and ground ginger into a largish saucepan. Place over medium low heat and heat gently until the butter has melted and all have blended well together. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.
Beat together the milk and the egg. Stir this into the warm mixture along with the stem ginger. Sift the flour over top and fold it in until well combined. Spoon into the muffin cases, dividing it equally amongst them all.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly touched, or when a skewer inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl, removing all the pips. Gradually stir in the sifted icing sugar, stirring until smooth and thick, yet still spoonable. Spoon this icing over the cakes. Combine the chopped stem ginger and candied ginger and then sprinkle a bit over the top of each one. Let set before serving.
As you can plainly see . . . these went down a real treat!