Saturday, December 06, 2008

i may not be ready for proper holiday cheer, but i'll take any excuse to bake, really. but in the spirit of not wanting to gain ridiculous amounts of weight again this winter, i've tweaked a recipe for gingerbread to make it about a million times more delicious and just a smidge less bad for you. whole-wheat flour adds fibre and texture, and i've replaced the traditional molasses with honey. australian manuka honey has a caramelesque depth which complements the three kinds of ginger perfectly, but of course, feel free to experiment with different varieties.

gingerbread pear muffins
makes a dozen, give or take

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4-6 chunks crystallized ginger, chopped into small bits
1 medium-sized pear, such as bosc

preheat oven to 350°f. combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt in a large bowl, and set aside. in a separate bowl, stir together sugar and honey until well combined. add eggs one at a time, and beat well. add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. add oil, water, and grated ginger, beating until smooth. peel pear and chop into small pieces. gently fold pear and crystallized ginger into batter. pour into well-oiled muffin tins and bake until a knife inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes, watching carefully. remove muffins from muffin tin and place on wire racks to cool.

enjoy with a nice cup of tea and a comfy chair.

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