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MUFFINS.

…or, Cupcakes?

This brings up an important question, a bit of an ‘existential baking dilemma’, if you will – what distinguishes a Muffin from a Cupcake?

A few key observations – both are baked goods – squat in form, miniature in size, usually intended for individual delight.

….and now, Differences.

Hmmmmm. Muffins are oft fruit-themed, yes? …and usually have some spice matrix that includes cinnamon, maybe a vanilla twang ? …paper tuxedo (i.e., ‘baking cup’) is wardrobe optional. Oh, and they may contain FIBER. Possibly at medicinal levels.

Sooooooooo. Cupcakes, I guess are more like a “cake” in the traditional sense …chocolate, yellow, carrot ….and oh oh oh! They have sugary FROSTING. Possibly at diabetic levels.

Or maybe it is less their ingredient profile, and more the occasion they are showing up for? …Breakfast! Birthday! YAY!

Ahhhh – but they should never be confused – a Breakfast Muffin, YES! …a Birthday Muffin??? NOOOOOOOO.

A Breakfast Cupcake??!!! ….Okay, MAYBE.

I think my Molasses Ginger Chocolate Muffins may be THEE Breakfast Cupcake. Call it a MUFFCAKE.

It’s WINTER. It’s COLD. My cards ‘n cold ones (Rummy 500!!!)  friend-date canceled on me so I had no palatable excuse to leave the house tonight. At about seven PM cabin-fever set in …and I set to baking.

This is another one of my Random Crap in My Cupboards Recipes. Again, it’s COLD. I’m wearing furry slippers. I’m not riding my bike anywhere I don’t have to. Including a grocery store. And too – I rather fancy the challenge of throwing open my cabinets and seeing what kind of Magic I can conjure. Baking is alchemy after all, and right now (whew!) I got some creative wood to burn.

So I got a melange of flours mason-jarred in my fridge. And an overflowing store of ‘baking-neccesaries’, like sugars and leavening agents in my granny cupboard. Trust me – I am always prepared for nights like these. The real rat-rustle is when it comes to the STUFF – The Flavas.

The first thing I laid my hands on was the blackstrap molasses. Yeah – dark and syrupy, reminiscent of medicine – sounded like an antidote for my mood. Then I found a forgotten knob of fresh ginger in the almost back of my fridge. TREASURE.

I liked where this was going …! I thought cookies. Snaps, perhaps? …Nah. I have been making too many sweet treats lately. (And thank goodness for the neighbors who take them off my hands! We can share the weight gain haha! I trick you!!!)

Hmmmmm….so a healthy baked good. Goodness – what could that be?? Ah-ha!

MUFFINS.

Back to my scavenge! A lone apple rolling around in the cripser …PERFECT. Add some brown sugar ….and coarse-ground black pepper? A squirt of COCK SAUCE?? (aka, ‘Rooster Sauce’ …Spicy!)

Off-track. Totally off-track. Anyone who knows me knows I have a deep, unrequited love of SAUSAGE. Clearly I was trying to act out Sausage Fantasy. Not tonight, honey …I got Muffins to BAKE.

Okay – I got molasses. I got fresh ginger. Lots of brown sugar …. and I got dark chocolate.

This is the part where the Muffin got confused about its ‘baked-good orientation’ – if I was going to be honest with it, it’s ingredient profile was beginning to read more like ‘dessert’ (i.e., cupcake) than ‘breakfast’ (i.e., muffin). But I did not feeeeeeel like baking Cupcakes. I wanted to bake Muffins – something Healthy!

….and so the MUFFCAKE was made.

Suitable accompaniment to morning coffee black, or your decaf black tea before bed …these Muffcakes will also pair nicely with a ginger beer, or a two-finger pour of whiskey. Ah! You could also try modifying this recipe by adding coffee or whiskey to the batter? (or, BACON?!) …

Try the original recipe first though – you might find that they are already PERFECT. If I had powdered sugar, I mighta made an icing glaze …but alas, this is a Random Crap in My Cupboards Recipe …and these are not Cupcakes.

They are Muffcakes.

Enjoy!

Molasses Ginger Chocolate Muffcakes (makes one hel’luv’a dozen)

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup teff

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 t xanthan gum

1 t ground ginger

1 t cinnamon

1 t fresh ginger, chopped itty-bitty

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 stick of ‘butter’ (I used earthbalance.)

2 eggs

1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup of dark chocolate chips

To begin, pre-heat your oven to 350 F …and Special Step: bury your fresh ginger bits in the brown sugar

In BOWL #1 – whisk together flours, baking soda and salt, xanthan gum and dry spices.

In BOWL#2 – using your hand-mixer (or mix by hand), whip together the ‘butter’ and brown sugar-fresh ginger, then add the eggs one at a time.

Combine BOWLS – add half of your ‘dry’ ingredients to the ‘wet’, mix mix mix …add almond milk, mix mix mix …add the rest of the dry. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.

I lined my muffcake tin with those paper ‘baking cups’ – I sure hate washing the pan. If you don’t fancy using paper cups, you may wish to grease your tin.

(I sprinkled a little bit of cane sugar on the tops of each muffcake before baking – gives them a marvelous sheen.)

Bake 30-35 mins …cool on a baking rack – but be sure to have one while they are still WARM.

YUMMM.

Jules.

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