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Friday, December 24, 2010

Saying Merry Christmas With Martha Stewart's Ginger Bread Cupcake

Cupcake 7

Cupcake 3

Ginger Cupcake 1

Getting back to blogging after a month long haitus is proving to be harder than I thought. Amidst meetings in New Jersey, shopping in Manhattan and  catching up with friends in Conneticut, I put all blogging activites on the back burner. When I got back a week ago, I found myself drawn into a spring cleaning mode - it all started with the bumper load I lugged back from Williams Sonoma - I desperately had to clear out old clutter to make way.... for shiny new toys. Things got worse when the company's account department cast their ultimatum, warning me that if I do not submit my 9 months' old overdue expense reports, I can kiss all my money good-bye...... that was my week leading up to the Christmas holidays.

As cold as it might be, Manhanttan was absolutely lovely around Christmas and drew visitors like a big magnet. Some highlights of my 3 weeks stay in US included my usual walk in Central Park on the only sunny Saturday before the chills set in, lingered in Williams Sonoma and Wholefoods supermarket, played X-box in a mobile arcade, cooked at the Vikings Culinary Center and ate some good food and...some not so good ones.

Interestingly, I was inspired to bake this Gingerbread Cupcake because of an unpleasant cupcake experience I had in Conneticut. I was told that when well known Cupcake Bake Shop, Crumbs opened one of its latest branch at posh and trendy Westport, it made the neighbourhood quite happy. However, I was skeptical right from the moment I walked into the store. The cupcakes were bigger than my fists and although there appeared to be a myriad of mouth watering flavours to choose from, their 'Signature size', in my opinion, took away their prettiness. We bought 2 cupcakes, the GingerBread and the Apple Caramel to bring home for after dinner dessert. Both were so coyingly sweet that I had to throw out my share after one bite.

The recipe I have chosen today is taken from Martha Stewart's Cupcake cook book. This has to be one of the best cupcakes I have had for a long time.
Cupcake 6

I like this even better than the Donna Hay chocolate cupcake. The Christmasy spices are warm and comforting. Devoid of any milk/liquid or leavening agent, the cupcake turned out to be suprisingly soft and fluffy. If you are still deliberating on what to bake for Christmas, I would strongly recommend this.

Last but not least, before I return to my expense reports, here's wishing all my lovely friends out there a Merry and Wonderful Christmas!

P.S. : Swee San, thanks for the reminder. I will be more than happy to submit this for your giveaway event.
So, officially - This is my entry for the Christmas Giveaway hosted by Swee San of The Sweet Spot.

Cupcake 3 (100)
Recipe : (Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)
1.5Cups          all-purpose flour
2   tbsp           ground ginger
2 tsp               ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp            freshly grated nutmeg
1.5 cups         unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tbsp             unsulfured molasses
4 large            eggs , room temperature
3/4 cup           brown sugar (I cut the sugar by 50%)
1 tsp               Vanilla Extract

For Decorating
Gingerbread Cookie cutouts
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Method :

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners . Sift flour together with spices.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the molasses, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour.
3. Spoon out batter into cupcake liners to 3/4 full.
4. Bake in oven for 25 mins or until skewer inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

113g              Unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
80g                Icing sugar
1/8 tsp           Vanilla extract

Method :
1. Beat butter using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Reduce speed of mixer and add in icing sugar.
3. Add in Vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy.

Gingerbread Boy

5.5 cups         All purpose flour
1 tsp              Baking soda
1.5tsp            Salt
1 tbsp plus 1tsp  Ground ginger
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp                   Freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup                  Unsalted butter
1 cup                  Packed dark-brown sugar
2                         Large eggs
1.5 cups              Unsulfured molasses

1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. With the electric mixer on medium high speed, cream buter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and molasses and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined.

2. Divide dough into 3 portions. Flatten in to a disc and place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate until firm.
3. Roll out each disc to just under 1/4 inch thick.
4. Cut with mini gingerbread man cookie cutter.
5. Bake cookies until crisp - 8 to 10mins. Cool down and store in air tight tin.                  


Anonymous said...

Merry xmas Shirley!
Miss Ur postings!

Noob Cook said...

They are soooo adorable and festive looking! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ♥

ICook4Fun said...

Welcome back. Glad you had a great time in NY. Did you drop by Woodbury outlet for some shopping? Some of the dessert here in the US are overly sweet. I still can't get use to it after so many years that is why I prefer to bake my own. I love the gingerbread boy on top of your cupcakes. So cute!

Bakertan said...

hey shirley,

glad to see you posting again. nice cupcakes for the xmas season! yummy~

merry xmas and hope you have a great weekend ahead! have lots of fun!

Pei-Lin said...

Hello!! Welcome back!

Nice cupcakes! Gingerbread-themed ones sound Christmassy already! Wish I can have one ...

Anyhow, Merry X'mas!! Don't overwork yourself by burying yourself in the reports!

Swee San said...

Hi Shirley, welcome back :)
mmm I'd like one of those cupcakes now. Well Merry Christmas and have a happy new year :)

PS:I'm hosting a Christmas Giveaway, so do check by ;) These cupcakes would be great :)

La Table De Nana said...

Merry Christmas..I hope you got the expense account done! To pay for all the WS goodies.I bet you were like a kid in a candy shop..
Thanks for the recommendation of these adorable cupcakes..I have the book..You did them proud..
It was a pleasure getting to know you this year.

Anonymous said...

These gingerbreadman cupcakes are super duper cute! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family, Shirley!

Bakericious said...

Shirley, welcome back! And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Karen from Globetrotter Diaries said...

These are so very adorable! Love the cute gingerbread man toppers

tigerfish said...

I love the gingerbread man making his statement in the cupcake :)

I go to WholeFoods every week cos it is nearby. It's therapy for me. :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Yesterday I thought to leave you Christmas greeting but there is no new post from you but I am sure you will pop out with a new post. This is cupcake that full of nice aroma. Wishing a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all at home.

Aimei said...

Merry Christmas Shirley! A beautiful combination of cookies and cupcake in one!

Passionate About Baking said...

Welcome back from a long trip! Miss your posts! Will you be sharing any photos from your recent trip? Hope to see some when you are finally settling down!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy holidays!
I love gingerbread man. The gingerbread cupcake sounds good! I shall try it one day. Btw, what is unsulfured molasses?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Jane. Molasses is actually a side product from the processing of sugar from sugar cane / beetroot. It is supposed to be a healthier alternative to sugar and has an interesting complex flavour. Typically, sulphur dioxide is used to preserve the molasse but the organic version does away with the use of sulphur dioxide.

Wen said...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and all at home! Love your gingerbread so cute!

Angie's Recipes said...

How cute and festive they look!

Merry Christmas!

Kitchen Corner said...

Very cute and lovely ginger bread cupcakes! Wishing you have a wonderful Xmas and happy new year!

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

Merry Christmas! They look adorable!

DG said...

Cute Gingermen cupcakes!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family, Shirley!

grub said...

merry christmas and happy new year! have a safe and sound holiday :)

Allie said...


These are so cute! I love them and wish I can have one! Anyways, merry christmas!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! :) And the gingerbread man on the cupcake is a great idea.

Angie Tee said...

Shirley, Merry Christmas and Have a wonderful New Year! Btw, those gingerbread men look so cute and festive too.

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back and the gingerbread cupcakes are adorable.

Maris said...

Too cute! I wish Christmas wasn't over so I could still try my hand at making these.

Jo said...

Absolutely adorable cupcakes and I love the gingerbread man on it. Have a great holiday, Shirley and add bread to your 2011 new year baking resolution.

ann low said...

Those cupcakes look cute with the gingerbread man on top.
Merry Christmas!

Chuzai Living said...

Merry Christmas! Thanks for dropping by, Shirley! Your Ginger Bread cupcakes are lovely!! I would hate to eat your very cute ginger bread cookies!! I will keep this recipe for next year. :) Thanks for sharing and as always your photos are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

These are absolutely beautiful. I love how well clear the imprints on the gingerbreads are!

Passionate About Baking said...

Thanks for the clarification Shirley. In another words, I'll have to buy organic molasses right? If I'm unable to find organic ones, how will the normal ones affect the gingerbread? Sorry for so many queries. Thanks for your time!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Jane,the organic versions would most definitely be sulphur free but I believe some non-organic molasses are also unsulphured. It is not difficult to find them. I bought mine at NTUC. I don't think the sulphured molasses will affect the gingerbread. Hope this helps.

baobabs said...

These are too cute!!!! happy holidays!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Totally envious of your NY trip. Merry Christmas lovely.

Deeba PAB said...

These are just adorable & ever so precious. Happy Holidays Shirley!

Melanie said...

These gingerbreads look so crunchy and yummy! Happy Holidays!

thecoffeesnob said...

You were in NY for three weeks? Wow, time just flies!

Anyway these are so adorable! Merry Christmas, Shirley!

Cooking Gallery said...

Very cute cupcakes...! I love gingerbreadman, it's also my favourite childhood's betime story :).

Dinners and Dreams said...

Shirley, the gingerbread boy, the cake and the frosting all look fab. The result is an adorable and tasty cupcake.

I hope you had a great holiday!


Joanne said...

Oh I'm SO sorry you had to experience Crumbs! I absolutely hate them and it's so frustrating because my parents love them. So dry and just not good. Yuck.

However, your cupcakes more than make up for it! They look so festively delicious!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

YES! Joanne, I am so glad to hear that I am not alone in this! I just wonder how on earth did they get so successful!

Passionate About Baking said...

Thanks very much for answering my queries, Shirley!
Thanks also for putting up the pictures of Central Park. I've not been there, and have seen so much of it on American movies. It's so wonderful to be there. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

They're so cute! And got to love Martha for some cute Christmas ideas! :) Sounds like you had a great time in NY!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Sounds like it's been quite the busy season for you, Shirley. I'm glad you still managed to fit in these delightful cupcakes, though. I own this book and you've definitely motivated me to use it more by reminding me of the adorable treats contained in it. Happy New Year, dear!

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

These are so cute! What a terrific idea!


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