It’s not fall anymore, and it’s well past Christmas. That means it’s technically the wrong season for both the pumpkin AND the gingerbread, but I don’t care. I was hungry, and I wasn’t looking for a dainty citrus flavor this time around. I sought substance.
I used dainty-looking muffin cups, if that helps, although I’m not sure what this dainty business is about since it’s winter, and it’s been brutally cold, and it’s really dark when I wake up in the morning, and there’s nothing dainty about it.
I’ve had it. I’ve had it with the cold, the dark, the murky waters of job hunting, and people who walk really slowly in front of you on the sidewalk and bob back and forth so you can’t get past them, and the other ones who carry their rolled-up umbrellas horizontally so they poke everyone behind them on the subway steps. I’m irritated by all the articles in my Facebook feed that say, “You’ve been doing ____ wrong your whole life!” Shut up! I just want to watch Downtown Abbey and Parenthood and Orange Is The New Black all day long, and cry at all the sad parts, and clap at all the good parts, and eat bonbons. IS THAT SO WRONG?
Fortunately, I have these pumpkin gingerbread muffins to comfort me in these winter wailing sessions of mine. They’re flavorful and filling and sweet, and they make me feel a little more taken care of in this cold, cold world.
They’re cakey in texture, making them seem much more decadent than they are, and the pumpkin and ginger give them a deep, rich flavor. The mini cinnamon chips melted right in, making up for the sugar I took out but adding so much more than empty sweetness.
PUMPKIN GINGERBREAD MUFFINS WITH MINI CINNAMON CHIPS
(adapted from The Lean Green Bean)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (extract is fine)
1/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup pumpkin
2/3 + 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 + 1/4 wheat germ (you could also just use 1 3/4 cups flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup mini cinnamon chips
cinnamon-sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 375 degrees and prep a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, molasses, and pumpkin until thoroughly combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in the cinnamon chips.
Scoop into a muffin tin, distributing the batter as evenly as possible. It will be quite thick. If desired, sprinkle a little cinnamon-sugar on top of each one.
Bake at 375 for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for another 13-15 minutes. (Mine were done at 14.)
Give them 5 minutes in the pan, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.