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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Potluck

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Gourmet
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 TSP ground ginger
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP ground cloves
1/2 TSP allspice
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 Stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup unsulfured molasses
1 Large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 Cup boiling water
1 TSP baking soda
1 Canister of pre-made cream cheese frosting
1 TSP freshly grated lemon zest
2 TSP fresh lemon juice
Candied ginger for garnish

My girlfriends and I decided to hold a potluck Christmas dinner over the weekend. I documented the holiday fun, and the yummy food. We snacked on pita chips and dip while we sipped our wine. Marisa made vegetable soup with quinoa, and Caitie made veggie chili with rice and cheese. We finished the meal off with my cupcakes and some prosecco.

I simply cannot resist anything with cream cheese frosting. You could make your own frosting, but since the holidays are stressful enough, I bought pre-made cream cheese frosting and added the flavors. The lemon in the frosting really brightens up the spicy cake, and they are oh-so-pretty with the ginger candies on top.

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt. In another bowl cream the butter, add granulated sugar, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg, beating until the mixture is smooth. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 cup boiling water and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Stir the mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and stir the molasses mixture into the flour mixture, stirring to combine the ingredients well. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.) Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool.

In a bowl mix the frosting with the zest and lemon juice until combined. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top each cupcake with some of the crystallized ginger.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.