Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Countdown: Day 12 - Gingerbread Cupcakes!

Barefoot Deliberations Christmas Countdown Introduction!
What I’m doing isn’t new – all over the web are blogs and websites filled with countdowns… I just know, since having TroubleMaker, Christmas has taken on renewed importance for me. And since I love all things festive, I decided to do a countdown here too. I hope you enjoy the next twelve days as I share with you some of my crafty ambitions, family traditions, decorating tips and yummy, tummy tickling recipes! I’m also excited to share with you a Guest post – check back for that on Friday, December 16th!

Day 12 - Gingerbread Cupcakes!
When you think of Christmas, what comes to mind? The one smell I always associate with Christmas and the holiday season is gingerbread… Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves – it all spells HoHoHo in my books! I’ll be sharing a couple of our family traditional recipes but today, I’m sharing a new (and good) discovery! Back in November, I picked up a magazine at TroubleMaker’s behest – on the cover – a graham cracker train. Throughout the pages of the magazine were crafts and recipes all related to the festive season. As with most of the magazines I pick up, I dog eared the pages of the recipes and crafts I liked. More often than not, I find them again six months after the event but this time, I remembered to look at it.

When I came to the page that housed today’s feature recipe, I couldn’t remember why I marked it – shared on the page was a full 8.5 x 11" picture of a piece for chocolate cake – and since discovering Mrs. Searle’s chocolate cake recipe in 2008, I have no need to search any longer… Tucked up on the corner of the page was an unsuspecting recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing. A small photo accompanied the picture – it wasn’t inspiring but the mounds of maple icing made it hard to resist! Saturday afternoon, I tackled the recipe as TroubleMaker relaxed in the bath (one day, I will reverse that trend – he can bake while I relax in the tub).

It went together well and mixed up light and fluffy. The recipe was like none I’ve worked with before – it didn’t pour like a typical cake batter – it was thick and – well, gelatinous. I used a rubber spatula to “spoon” it into the muffin liners – it kind of glopped out but it was simple and quick to fill the twelve cups with no mess (that made me very happy). I popped them in the oven and waited. I also resisted all temptation to open the oven door. Normally, I’m not superstitious about that but because my mother in law would be sampling these delights, it was especially important to me that they turn out perfect! I even followed the recipe when it said "cool ten minutes in the pan then cool completely on a wire wrack". I have to admit that with the frosting, I just tossed it together - I used a little more cream cheese, more confectioner's sugar and a little less maple syrup. I suppose many years of cooking and baking has allowed me to judge by sight how much of this and that to add!

The house smelled amazing - and the taste - divine! Dense and light and just the right amount of spice truly captured what I think Christmas tastes like (if Christmas had a taste)! They were well received and so perfect to end the tour of the Christmas lights! Try it, it would be a perfect end to Christmas dinner or a yummy treat after an afternoon of tobogganing!

Thanks for stopping in! Come back tomorrow for Day 11!

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