Monday, January 12, 2009

Martha's Gingerbread Cupcakes

Ingredients for the gingerbread cupcakes:
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup unsulphered molasses
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

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Ingredients for limoncello cream cheese frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar
zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T limoncello

Preparing the cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper baking cups, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. In a bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground spices, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light. Beat in the brown sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the eggs.

Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of them comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

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Preparing the limoncello cream cheese frosting:
With an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese and butter until softened. Slowly add the sugar, zest, juice and limoncello and beat until creamy, about 3 minutes.


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