Gingerbread Muffins

As much as I love gingerbread cookies, I have to admit that I like actual gingerbread even more. I used to use a wonderful old recipe from Nathalie Dupree to make pans of gingerbread in the fall. Based on that recipe, I developed a perfect muffin that features all the richness and flavor of a classic old-fashioned gingerbread.

Gingerbread Muffins
adapted from Nathalie Dupree’s recipe for Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup coca cola, apple cider or apple juice
1 teaspoon brandy flavoring or vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease well a muffin tin, and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the molasses and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, the coke or juice, and the brandy or vanilla flavoring. Add these two mixtures to the molasses mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Beat until the batter is smooth.

Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched with a finger. Yield about 18 muffins.

To turn this muffin into a luscious dessert, top with creamy Peach Sauce . . .

Peach Sauce
based on Nathalie Dupree‘s recipe

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup peach juice, peach brandy, or peach schnapps
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 teaspoon almond extract

In a heavy saucepan, combine the egg yolks and sugar.

In a separate, smaller saucepan, heat the peach juice/brandy/schnapps. (You can also do this in the microwave if you prefer).

Pour the hot peach juice gradually into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Turn on low heat, and continue whisking until mixture thickens. This could take up to 15 minutes (trust me, it’s worth it). Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes, then fold in the whipped cream and vanilla. You may wish to make this ahead of time – if so, chill the sauce until you are ready to serve.

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