The magical Gingerbread Cupcake

First of all, I'm sorry that I can't keep my promise to post the story about my journey in Bali last November. I didn't imagine before, that month of December will pass very fast. The month that I have been really waiting for months, will end very soon... and I have no time and energy to post that story. Hopefully next month I'll have perfect time to upload the photos and the story.

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.

reflection

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.

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Special thanks to my friend, Sisca Marunduh to let me use her 'old' pictures.

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.

Snow in the Mall :)

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

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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...

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Gingerbread Cupcakes
source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes.
Makes 22 (I made 24)
Gingerbread is the most recognizable Christmas time flavor, the scent of its signature spices baking in the oven fill a home with holiday cheer. These cupcakes are made with the same mixture of spices-nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and ginger as the gingerbread.

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.

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Chocolate-Bar Hot Chocolate
source: The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook.
Hot chocolate made from candy bars is a child's idea of heaven. It also saves time since the sugar is already added. Candy-cane stirrers give the chocolate a hint of peppermint flavor.
1 chocolate bar (8 ounces), finely chopped
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.

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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.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Have a Peaceful and Wonderful Season.

Comments

Ira Rodrigues said…
Merry xmas to you and family
* love the recipe, fotonya mana tahaaaannn, cantik kek orangnya
Unknown said…
Selamat Natal juga Van. semoga damai Natal selalu ada di hati kita semua.
Nisa-mom said…
Merry Christmas mbaaaaa... wadoooh.. kukis nya bikin aku rindu kampung halaman :D where is the picture of Bombay ? :D
Cadence said…
Can not wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing it.
Anonymous said…
Merry Christmas mba Vania. May God bless you and family :)
Anonymous said…
Selamat Natal buat Mba Vania, Mas Doddy, Patricia dan Patrick!

xoxo,
Nova-Made-Noah-Keshia
Dhita said…
Vania, merry christmas and happy new year. Beautiful looking cupcakes, sooo christmasy


www.cookingetcetera.com
fenny said…
mbak, dpt candy cane-nya di mana? temenku nyari pas christmas kmrn gak ketemu.
Vania said…
Dear All,
wish you & yours a very Happy New Year filled with love, laughter, prosperity and joy!

Ira, thank you... itu cupcakes enak banget lho Ra hi..hi..

Mindy, makasih. Semoga gak kedinginan di sana.

Mbak Fitri, yeah...itu kukis emang 'tradisi' kampung halaman yah. Gile deh, aku ngabisin byk banget kaastengel *gawat*.
Kali ini Bombay gak masuk dalam kisah natal dulu hi..hi..

Cadence,
try it... you'll be happy with the result :)

Anonymous, thank you.

Nova, thanks you ya. Semoga acara natalan kalian menyenangkan.

Dhita, makasih...
apa kabar? lama gak kedengeran kabarnya. Kangeeen.

Fenny,
tahun ini aku dikasi ama adekku. Cuma tahun lalu aku belinya di 'Total Buah' Fatmawati.
Deliah's Deli said…
slmt hari natal dan tahun baru 2011...i love ginger cookies tp yg ini belum pernah dicuba..thanks for sharing n jatuh cinta sama photo2nya :)
Subhie Arun said…
wow...lovely cupcakes...frst time here...lov ur space...like ur pics most..glad to follow u!

http://www.subhieskitchen.blogspot.com