I made these a couple years ago, but came across the photo the other day and forgot how pretty they were. I’m not much of a gingerbread fan, but I love these – the cream cheese frosting makes them, I think. This Christmas I want to make them with wee gingerbread men on top, instead of stars. I meant to do that two years ago, but never did.
Once in awhile, when I make something really good, Mike says “but we’ll probably never have this again”, meaning that as a food writer I’m always testing new recipes, never building on a repertoire of really good stuff that I make all the time, like normal home cooks do. I told this to Rose Murray a couple weeks ago, and she agreed – her son always said “you never get the good stuff twice”. Although I do love trying new things, sometimes I forget to remember the good stuff.
Here you go – short and sweet – to celebrate the first of December. We’re out in the woods right now, cutting down a tree. I have a feeling Mike secretly wants to be Clark W. Griswold.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In a large bowl beat together the butter, oil, and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and eggs until smooth. Put the baking soda into a small bowl or liquid (you’ll need extra room – it bubbles up) measuring cup, and add 3/4 cup boiling water.
Add a third of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, beating on low speed just until blended. Add half the water mixture in the same way, then another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the water mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients, blending just until combined. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are springy to the touch. Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.