Every Christmas morning we serve Gram’s ginger muffins. Not sure where she got the recipe…maybe from some long-forgotten newspaper article. Or maybe it’s a family recipe. Since her parents were born just after the Civil War, perhaps it traveled with them from the Mississippi Delta of Arkansas 400 miles down to Texas. Or maybe it’s older than that.
Whatever…Gram’s recipe is a subtle, mildly-gingered light cake. In the tradition of changing tastes, though, through the years we’ve updated Gram’s recipe, pumping up the ginger, doubling the other spices and using more butter than Crisco.
Extremely Ginger Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Serves: 18 muffins
- 1 1/4 cups butter (or 1 cup butter, plus 1/4 cup shortening for a crunchier muffin top)
- 1 cup light molasses
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 tablespoons dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger chunks, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, cream butter (and shortening, if applicable) and sugar with mixer for several minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs to mixing bowl and combine.
- In a small bowl, add soda to molasses, stirring well, then stir in grated fresh ginger. Add to sugar/molasses and mix.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, dried ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Alternately with the buttermilk (beginning and ending with the milk), add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the molasses/sugar. Mix just until combined, then stir in crystallized ginger.
- At this point the dough can be covered and kept in the fridge for several days. If so, bring the dough to room temperature before baking.
- When ready to bake, spoon into well-greased muffin cups. Optionally sprinkle the tops with a little sugar, then bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.