The other day in conversation someone happened to mention gingerbread. I don’t remember how it came up, and it was just mentioned in a fleetingly brief moment. I’m sure no one else gave it another thought, but, me being me, suddenly I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I was in desperate need of a gingerbread fix.
I’m no stranger to gingerbread, having indulged in the most wonderful Gingerbread Popcorn and having made my own Gingerbread Spice Syrup for lattes. (And if I’m thinking about going the cookie route, Molasses Crinkles are usually my top choice!) But I wanted something I could eat for breakfast and be satisfied, because, well…it was breakfast time and like I said, my hankering for gingerbread wasn’t waiting.
Muffins were a natural choice (but I’ll admit, I forgot about my Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes, which would have also been a great choice!). Now, you and I both know muffins are healthier than cupcakes. I took it one step further with these muffins and snuck in a few extra healthy things (like cottage cheese, whole wheat pastry flour, and coconut palm sugar).
But have you noticed how “healthy” is almost taboo around the holidays? Don’t tell anyone what’s in these and the fact that they’re pretty healthy will be our dirty little secret. ;)
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, melted and cooled (salted butter will work fine here)
- 2/3 cup (130 g) coconut palm sugar (or 1/2 cup/100 g lightly packed light brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) molasses
- 1/2 cup (115 g) dry-style (aka California-style) cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground black pepper (see Note below)
- 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons water
- Preheat oven to 350F; line a muffin tray with paper liners.
- Combine the butter, coconut palm sugar, molasses, cottage cheese, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and black pepper.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry all at once and use a wooden spoon to combine, being careful not to over-mix.
- Fill each muffin well about 2/3 full of batter and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs, about 16 to 18 minutes. Cool completely.
- Once the muffins have cooled, make the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough water so it reaches your desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze on the cooled muffins and allow it to set before serving.
Black Pepper: This is a traditional ingredient in gingerbread; I only use a pinch here so you won't be able to pull out it's flavor, but it adds the perfect little punch of spice.