Gingerbread Muffins

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These gingerbread muffins were my greatest baking innovation of Christmas 2011, but I doubt I'll be waiting a whole year to make them again. They're based on Nigella recipe in Feast, but I substituted in a few traditionally Canadian flavours, to making these meltingly moist little breakfast cakes (♥ ) more evocative of  Christmas mornings at home. It's impossible not to be moved by the warmth and comfort of Christmas when preparing treats like these. I was in complete state of festive bliss popping open jar after jar from my stocked pantry, taking in the aroma of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, molasses, apple and maple one by one. Of course the smells were only the prelude to the main attraction, and by the response these got under the tree I'm thinking by next year my triumphant innovation will have joined the ranks of the can't-do-without-'em traditions.

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Recipe for The Spring's Gingerbread Muffins 

In a large bowl combine: 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp baking powder • 21/2 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/4 tsp ground cloves.

In a medium bowl whisk together: 1 large egg • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar • 3/4 cup milk • 1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar • 6 tbsp extra light olive oil • 5 tbsp molasses • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 2 tbsp apple sauce.

Mix wet ingredients into dry then scoop out the batter into 12 paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 400F/200C oven for 20 minutes. Stored in an airtight container (in the fridge in the Australian heat) they'll stay moist and taste super fresh for a good couple of days.

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Catherine Roberts