9.25.2011

Marion Cunningham's Fresh Ginger Muffins


Would somebody mind telling me why Marion Cunningham didn't make Gourmet's list of 50 Women  Game Changers? Several women on that list quote her, cook from her books and post her recipes frequently. Hello out there? 


Although I have three of Cunningham's cookbooks, her Breakfast Book is the most thumbed-through. I've got so many post-its stuck in the book it almost looks like I'm working my way through Julie/Julia style. Anyway, I'd marked her fresh ginger muffins ages ago as something to try. I've seen them posted here and there to rave reviews and I finally got around to making them. 


I know, they don't look like anything special, do they? Boring even. Au contraire! The flavors sing loud and clear when you bite into one. In fact, the entire house was filled with the most divine fragrance while they were baking. Wouldn't it be marvelous if you could click and sniff these photos like those old scratch and sniff bits in magazines? 
And isn't it interesting that Ms. Cunningham used unpeeled fresh ginger? I've just got to say it: I think these may be some of the best muffins I've ever tasted.

So run, do not walk, to the store to buy some fresh ginger and lemons and get these made. Not kidding, people. And eat them warm. Trust me on this one.


Fresh Ginger Muffins

From The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham


Ingredients:
A 2 ounce piece unpeeled fresh gingerroot, scrubbed clean
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest (from two lemons) with some white pith
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), room temperature ( I used salted butter)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Method:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease the muffin tin. This recipe made 12 regular sized muffins.

Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks and place in a food processor. Process until it is in fine pieces. You should have around 1/4 cup. (Better more than too little.) Place the ginger and 1/4 cup sugar in a small pan over medium heat and stir until sugar is melted. It doesn't take long, so don't leave the stove. Remove and allow to cool.

Put the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons sugar in a processor and process until it is finely grated. (I didn't do this step because I used a microplane for the lemon zest and it was finely grated already, so I just added the sugar.)  Mix in with the cooled ginger.

Beat the butter  and add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until well blended. Add the flour, salt and baking soda. Beat until smooth. Fold in the ginger mixture by hand.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, fill them 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
(I froze some and when thawed and warmed, they were almost as good as when they came out of the oven. Can you see the little bits of ginger in the photo below?)




31 comments:

  1. Gosh they sound good w/ the ginger like that..Wish mine wasn't all peeled and frozen..I find it so much easier to grate that way..I'll just have to get a piece next time..Thanks..and I had never heard of her:)

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  2. Beautifully smooth muffins. That is an amazing flavor!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. They look great! Really tempting.

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  4. Yum....I think I can smell them now! :) I love ginger and like to use crystallized ginger where ever I can to get more of a ginger flavor. I'm excited to try them...I always have fresh ginger and lemons on hand...so no need for me to run to the store! Thanks for sharing and telling us how good they are!

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  5. I was craving ginger earlier this week... Another "keeper" recipe from you!

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  6. These ginger muffins look delicious. Very light and airy appearance too. Ginger must be very popular this month. There seems to be a lot of bloggers baking with it lately. I will have to go out and by myself a large piece and get baking.

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  7. There are quite a few worthy women who didn't make it on the list that's for sure and some whom I scratch my head and wonder why they are there at all. But we are learning a lot and Marion does deserve a spot on the list.

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  8. These sound good. I love ginger and lemons. I'll be these taste great. I could even see them with a glaze on top!

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  9. I wish I could smell that aroma around here this morning. Fresh ginger is just so amazing! I haven't heard of her either, I will have to go cookbook shopping! I am like you, I mark tons of recipes that I want to try and I am always buying new cookbooks. We will definitely give these a try.

    So nice of you to come and visit. I just love Monique's blog. She is just amazing and I was honored that she would make one of my recipes and post it!

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  10. I just read your last post - I KNOW FOR SURE Maida and I are kindred spirits and I need to get some of her cookbooks. I might have one of the chocolate ones, I will have to find out who the author was. If not, I know what will be under my Christmas tree.

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  11. These lists are silly if you ask me, first of all, who males them? This muffin recipe is a classic and on my list to try asap~

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  12. I've wondered the same thing. Great muffins by the way.
    Sam

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  13. I've wondered the same thing. Great muffins by the way.
    Sam

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  14. Gosh, I've never heard of her. I'll have to look for one of her books. These muffins look amazing.

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  15. I'm sure I'd love these, as I'm a huge fan of ginger in any form. But unpeeled! I'll have to wrap my mind around that one!

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  16. I can almost smell then from photo. Or, I really wish I could. The ginger and lemon sound lovely. I need to try these!

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  17. I'm on board with ginger anything--these sound great!

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  18. This does sound really flavorful, though you're kinda right, it isn't the most exciting thing to look at. I really like ginger and lemon zest in baked things so I'm certain this one is a winner.

    As to your lament on Marion Cunningham, surely it's politics. Plus in a way, I think that it is gratifying that a list of 50 women game changers in food fails to include all the women game changers in food. Who'd want there to only be 50?

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  19. At first, I thought you were talking above Marion Cunningham from Happy Days, thinking I didn't remember her being a cook - LOL.

    These do sound wonderful! I love ginger.

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  20. Mmmm...ginger and lemon- these flavors would brighten any morning! These sound delicious. :)

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  21. Are they kind of like gingerbread?

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  22. Your description had me smelling ginger and lemon - or was it my imagination? I'm so intrigued by the direction of unpeeled ginger - I wonder why, but I suppose the food processor does a number on the tougher outer skin.

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  23. This was one of the first recipes that I tried from the book, some years ago.
    Time to revisit I think, thanks for the reminder of how good they are.

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  24. I have that same (dogeared) book and we enjoy these muffins frequently. Sometimes I add finely chopped candied ginger.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  25. I just made a lemon ginger and honey chicken and loved the flavors... they'd be great in muffins. I am with you about Cunningham... Why not on the list??? She is a quiet artist, that's perhaps why... but her influence is so far reaching... go figure!!!

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  26. Now don't these look lovely? I think muffins are the only baked good I dare attempt (yes, I am that inept) and these sound delightful.

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  27. I love Marion Cunningham, so I'm sure your right that I need to make these muffin right away. Lemon and ginger they sound incredible.
    Mimi

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  28. I've never had ginger flavour muffins before. sounds pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Kristy

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  29. These sound delicious with ginger. Ginger is certainly versatile. I seem to put it, in everything. This has to be somewhere in my future. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. fresh ginger is SO aromatic and tasty. these would certainly be an eye-opener in the morning and a yummy treat throughout the day!

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