The magical Gingerbread Cupcake
We began this month with some busy activities, preparing our relative's wedding at the first week of December and continued with the kids 'busy' school activities at the end of 2nd term. Preparing their assesments, lots of homeworks and their final presentations (oh, even my 2nd grader son is using Power Point for his presentation! ck..ck..ck...).
Then only 2 weeks before Christmas, we had a chance to decorate our christmas tree in the living room.
At the end, I'm so glad that everything is going to be okay, my heart fills with tons of JOY, and we're ready for welcoming Christmas!
Every December, we incorporate dozen of symbols of the season into our holiday festivities. It is a tradition that we find christmas tree, ginger bread house, nucracker, snowman, candy canes, wreath, holly, etc, during this season. But for us, who live in a tropical country, actually not all of them are known to us.
I grew up in small 'mining' town in South Sulawesi, called Soroako. There is no mall or big shopping center and no fancy restaurant in that town, but we have the beautiful Matano Lake (the deepest lake in Indonesia, the tenth deepest lake in the world). Christmas was my family most intensely celebrated holiday. On Christmas, My mother baked, cooked and we decorated our christmas tree. We always stayed at home, surounded by our family. We were busy in Church, preparing Christmas drama and practising Christmas Choir. That's the memorable 'simple' Christmas that I always remember.
When other children always imagine that Santa Claus always comes with his sleigh and reindeers, not for us. Every years we watched Santa came with different 'vehicle'. One Christmas he came with a helicopter. Other year he came in a truck (a very big mining truck), and another year he came by a boat from the lake. Don't you think that we had awesome childhood memories? Yeah, we're so lucky!!
Now, my family & I live in a big metropolitan city, where shopping centers have become one of the popular destinations for most of Jakartans. People are very excited to go shopping, hang out, and christmas become more commercialized :(
Oh I miss those old sweet memories.
Talking about food, again... every part of the world has their own tradition. Eggnog, mince pie, fruit cake, gingerbread, or even candycane are not popular things for us to enjoy during the Christmas. But not too different with the Idul Fitri celebration in Indonesia; some cookies like nastar, kaastengels, snow white cookies will be served in almost every family that celebrate Christmas. And again, this year my sister send us those cookies! She's so lovely, isn't she?
Unfortunately, until this second, I'm not brave enough to open that jars (still sealed). The reason... I'm so sure, that I'll be the one who will eat most of them, and the result... my 'shape' will be not too good during this 'family gathering' season. *yeah... you can laugh loudly now!*
Oh no... I'll open it to take some pictures of it :D
One thing that I really need to tell that not like other Christmas before, this year I only try one new recipe. It's the Gingerbread Cupcake from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Recipe Book.
For me, this magical cupcake, give scent that says it's Christmas time!Since my children were small, almost every Chrismas I bake gingerbread cookies for them. This year, actually they keep asking me to bake the cookie. With classic reason 'busy', 'no time', 'tired'... I couldn't make it. But this cupcakes give us a 'happy ending'. Very easy to make, with delicious gingerbread flavor. Yeah... gingerbread has never lost its ability to charm and delight!
Remember my [Christmas Edition] Ginger All the Way! posting, where I wrote that I failed making the gingerbread cupcake... aha..now, I made it! Successful.
For the companion, I prepared 'Chocolate-Bar Hot Chocolate'. The chocolate flavor is very deep, and delicious.
*actually Martha Stewart decorate her cupcakes with buttercream and put the small gingerbread cookie on the top, but I chose to put 2 cashew on the top of the cupcake and dizzle with melted chocolate. Hhmmm, Yummy...
source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes.
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup palm sugar)
3 tbsp unsulfured molasses (I used honey :))
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour and spices.
2. With an electrick mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the molasses, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cook 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 3 months, in airtight containers.
source: The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook.
1 quart milk
4 candy canes, for garnish
Combine chocolate and milk in a medium sauce-pan. Place over medium heat; whisk frequently until chocolate has melted, about 5 minuts. Whisk mixture to combine well, then divide among 4 mugs. Serve garnished with candy canes.
I think it's about time to stop writing... I need to get ready to go to Church for Christmas Eve Service, continue with our big family dinner in my parent's house.
Have a Peaceful and Wonderful Season.