Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Lemon Ginger Muffins

This recipe, originally Bridge Creek Fresh Ginger Muffins, is from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham. I served these for a book club meeting and was greeted with cries of delight mingled with demands for the recipe. Indeed, one friend's mother loved them so that she is being applied to daily for the recipe, where is that recipe!

Now that surely warms the cockles of any baker's heart.

Rather than type it in, which I have been trying to find time to do since that meeting three weeks ago, I found it at Williams Sonoma where it looks as if they slightly adapted it for one of their cookbooks, such as more than doubling the amount of ginger called for. I changed it back to Cunningham's amount. You can find a wonderful photo of the muffins here.

Update: I now have had a chance to compare Cunningham's original recipe with that from Williams-Sonoma and they tinkered with more than the ginger amount. I have restored the recipe to its original state.

These are fresh tasting and I agree with Cunningham who comments in the recipe that you can hardly ever have too much fresh ginger. My two-ounce measure went over the 1/4 cup measure mentioned below so I didn't worry.

Bridge Creek Fresh Ginger Muffins

(sixteen muffins)

1 2-ounce piece unpeeled fresh ginger

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar [divided use]

2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons), with some white pith

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease muffin tins.

Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks. If you have a food processor, process the ginger until it is in tiny pieces; or hand chop into fine pieces. (You should have about 1/4 cup. It is better to have too much ginger than too little.)

Put the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in a small skillet or pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Don't walk away from the pan -- this cooking takes only a couple of minutes. Remove from the stove and let the ginger mixture cool [which also happens fairly quickly].

Put the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons sugar in the food processor and process until the lemon peel is in small bits; or chop the lemon zest and pith by hand and then add the sugar. Add the lemon mixture to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside.

Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat a second or two, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until smooth.

Add the eggs and beat well.

Add the buttermilk and mix until blended.

Add the flour, salt and baking soda. Beat until smooth.

Add the ginger-lemon mixture and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins so that each cup is three-quarters full. Bake 15-20 minutes [until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean]. Serve warm. [I served them a day old and they were delicious.]

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