So it turns out that sometimes having three days off in a week means that I'm not terribly productive. And by not terribly productive, I mean I caught up on the fall tv season, Netflix, Alex Delaware, & Jack Reacher. I did do about 20 loads of laundry in between, though, so that counts for something, yes?
Also, on the counting-for-something side of the scale, I did extensive (2 episodes worth) research in preparation for Mr Official Taster's birthday and produced these cupcakes. I even managed to photograph them, despite both the oversight and the help I had.
The cupcakes that came out of the oven were not quite what I expected, but that's not a bad thing. I was hoping for more of a true gingerbread, December style, but these? These are a lovely bridge between the Indian Summer days of earlier this week, and the fall days that are settling in to stay. They are light and sweet, with just hint of the winter to come.
Last year at this time: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Gingerbread Lite - vegan
Adapted, fairly liberally, from Joy of Cooking
I made these with applesauce, but I will definitely try using pumpkin in its place next time. Odds are high I'll use the canned stuff, but if you want to make your own, here's how I did last fall.
This made 15 cupcakes for me, but you could also make one 9-x9-inch pan. I'm perfectly content to eat these sans frosting, so I recommend them plain or with some powered sugar to dress them up. Dark chocolate frosting would also be a nice foil.
2 C flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour (or just use more all-purpose)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C molasses
1/2 C honey
1 C hot water (I just used sink-hot)1/2 C vegetable oil (I used olive)
1/4 C sugar (white, brown, or muscovado)
1/4 C applesauce (or pumpkin!)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan or grease a 9-x9-inch square pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (flours+spices) and set aside.
So the trick here is to take advantage of the oil when you measure the honey and the molasses. If you either measure the oil with a 1/2 cup measuring cup or just rub yours with a little bit before you measure the honey or molasses, those sticky messes will just slide right out.
In a small bowl, or a 2 cup measuring cup, stir together the molasses, honey, and hot water.
In a large bowl, blend together the oil, sugar, and applesauce. I used a hand mixer and beat it for a few minutes to try and incorporate as much air as possible, but if you don't have one, just stir well. Add the dry and liquid ingredients alternately to the oil mixture until blended.
Divide batter among cupcake liners or pour into prepared pan. Bake cupcakes for about 25-30 minutes or until they test done. If baking in the square pan, bake about 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool cupcakes for about 10 minutes in the pan before turning them out to cool completely on a wire rack.