Sunday, December 03, 2006

Reduced Sugar Gingerbread Muffins

If you've ever had gingerbread and wondered what the attraction is, you need to find a copy of Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking (which I've recommended before on this blog) and check out the chapter called "How to Make Gingerbread". The Gingerbread Cake in there is delicious. It tastes great plain, dusted with powdered sugar, served with a little applesauce or whipped cream, or--believe it or not--iced with the chocolate icing recipe the author includes. It tastes great warm or cold. It is also easy to make and fills the house with a smell that is better than any commercial air freshener or, for that matter, any other baking cake I know.

This recipe is adapted from that and I freely admit it is not as good as the original. But it cuts the sugar some, it makes a smaller amount--always good for one or two person households--and muffins are a bit easier to carry along for breakfast on the go than cake. (Yeah, I'm re-e-a-ally health conscious.) And it smells just as good baking.

Reduced Sugar Gingerbread Muffins

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/4 Cup Splenda in the bag
1/4 Cup Steen's Cane Syrup
1 egg
3/4 Cup plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/8 Cup dry milk
1 scant Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 slightly rounded tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground cloves
dash ground allspice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 Cup water

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 6-muffin muffin tin or spray with non-stick spray. Cream butter and Splenda together. Beat in cane syrup and egg. Add dry ingredients and mix. Stir in vanilla and water. Pour batter into muffin tin and bake until a knife or toothpick comes out clean--about 20 minutes.

Notes: I think Steen's Cane Syrup is a regional brand, so substitute some other cane syrup or molasses if it's not available to you. You can regard the vanilla as optional; I've accidentally left it out and it was fine, due no doubt to my using so much ginger.

Also, if you like try this and like it--or even if you don't--buy a copy of Home Cooking. It's available on Amazon and its writing has given me much pleasure.

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