I’m quietly confident that today will be my last proper day of work for the year. Yesterday was my last day in the office until 2015 and I’m racing through my final to do list before we head to Vienna this evening for a weekend of Christmas markets and gluhwein and probably quite a lot of cake.
Then, we come home to celebrate my boyfriend’s 30th birthday before the Christmas festivities begin in earnest. We both try to save enough holiday days through the year so that we can take at least two weeks off at this time of year and we plan to enjoy every single moment of it.
Whilst we’re normally rushing around on Christmas morning itself and don’t often bother eating much, the days either side are prime for lazy breakfasts. I tend to be (marginally) better at getting out of bed in the morning than my boyfriend so I often spend the first hour of the day pottering in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of pancakes or pulling a tray of freshly baked muffins out of the oven. As much as I love spending time with friends and family at this time of year, I find that I need the peace and solitude of those quiet kitchen mornings too.
However/whatever you’re celebrating over the next couple of weeks, I hope that all of your days are merry and bright.
Having not had any luck with a couple of gingerbread-themed breakfast recipes recently, I happened upon Megan's recipe for gingerbread muffins on The Ktichn and knew I had to make them. Megan's cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings, is one of my favourites and has given me such great breakfast inspiration over the last year or so. I made a few small tweaks to both the recipe and the method and ended up with what may be my favourite muffins of the year.
- 120g (1 cup) buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp corn flour (corn starch)
- 1 tbsp ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp each of ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
- 45ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
- 60g (1/3 cup) dark brown sugar
- 75ml (1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) treacle (or molasses)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
- Crystallised ginger, chopped, to decorate (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, treacle and egg.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Finally, fold through the yoghurt and allow the batter to sit for 15 - 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (fan) and line a muffin tray with paper liners. Divide the batter between the muffin cases, top with a little bit of crystallised ginger and bake for 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Vaguely adapted from Megan Gordon's whole grain gingerbread muffins