The Best Muffins Ever

I have been in a weird frame of mind where I just want it to be fall. I don’t know why! I think I just miss leggings and boots. And because fall in North Carolina is just the best! My friend and I were watching Farmhouse Rules this past weekend, as us old people do on a Saturday morning, and watching Nancy in her faaabulous historic home make mulled wine compelled me to bake something fall related. So I turned to a trusted recipe, http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/10/gingerbread-doughnut-muffins/, that I knew would satisfy my unseasonable desire, at least for the day. PS – still want fall.

The Gingerbread Donut Muffins
Ingredients
Batter

– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp baking soda
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp ground ginger
– 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
– 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
– 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
– 1 tsp orange zest
– 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
– 2 large eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp molasses
– 1 1/4 cups milk
Glaze
– 2 cups powdered sugar
– 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 Tbsp fresh orange juice or milk KB Note: I recommend milk. With the orange zest it gets to be too orange-y.
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 12-hole muffin tin.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip brown sugar with butter, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and the orange zest on medium-high speed until mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
4. Blend in remaining 3 tbsp vegetable oil and the applesauce. Add in eggs one at a time and mix just until combined after each addition while adding in 1 tsp vanilla with second egg. Stir in molasses.
5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold into batter with a rubber spatula, while scraping sides and bottom of bowl (don’t over-mix, batter should be lumpy and a few streaks of flour are fine before going on to next addition) then add 1/2 of the milk and fold just until nearly combined, then repeat process and end mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold just until until combined (batter should be lumpy).
6. Divide batter among greased muffin cups, filling each well nearly full.
7. Bake in preheated oven 8 minutes then reduce oven temperture to 375 and continue to bake 8 – 11 minutes longer until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
8. Remove from oven and run a knife around muffins (if you greased properly they should just slide out) to remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
9.When muffins are slightly warm, dip into glaze or spread over tops (I have tried both and I prefer spreading with a spoon by pouring the glaze on top. If you dip you run the risk of pieces breaking off), then return to cooling rack and allow glaze to set at room temperature.
10. Store in an airtight container.
For the glaze:
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and enough orange juice/milk to make a smooth glaze.

I apologize for only one picture, I was too involved in the baking to think about my phone! They also look better once removed from the dripping plate.

I apologize for only one picture, I was too involved in the baking to think about my phone! They also look better once removed from the dripping plate.

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