mini gingerbread muffins

mini gingerbread muffins | Kate Uhry photography

mini gingerbread muffins | Kate Uhry photography

Happy first day of fall! I have to admit that the change in the weather gave me a bit of a panic attack the other day. Though I love fall, this is what always happens in late September and early October; I spiral quickly into feeling like I didn’t do everything I intended upon doing in the summer, and winter is just around the corner. I love country life (as was proven when I was stuck in mid-town traffic on a Friday afternoon at rush hour). However, winter’s can be long, and rather lonely in the north-west corner  of Connecticut if your not careful. Suddenly i’m finding myself craving more carbs and comfort food. Is it my body’s way of telling me to fatten up for winter? I don’t know, but I’ll take it as a sign. The nights are cold, and there is a change in the air, especially in the morning with a heavy dew on the ground. It’s sweater weather, and the leaves are just starting to show some color if you look hard enough there are bits of orange and yellow. I figured I may have been pushing it when I lit my first fire in the fireplace last week when it was only 55 degrees. So here is a truth: I rarely plan ahead for baking, unless I am purposely bringing something to a dinner,or having company over. I usually just get a craving, and see what I have in the pantry to bake. Last year I made these mini pumpkin spice muffins and they were so good. I randomly had an urge for the same about eight o’clock at night,  with the fire burning in the fireplace. Unfortunately I had no pumpkin puree. Instead  I decided to adapt a recipe for gingerbread, because I had all the ingredients already. The muffins are tiny. You could put them in a regular muffin tin, but  why would you? Tiny is so much more fun, which makes me think I can eat several (not so). They also made my entire house smell really good instantly. The recipe came out so well, I thought I would share. It is perfect for a crisp fall morning, with coffee or hot apple cider.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup milk (or almond milk)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms only of muffin cups with pam, or place paper baking cup in each muffin cup.
In large bowl, beat brown sugar, molasses, milk, oil and egg with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if you like.

Now check your pantry, I bet you already have all the ingredients!

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