I love Christmas. And not just because the weather puts on a happy face for 3 months.
I love the slow wind down of work, and the casual suggestions late on Sat afternoon to 'come around for a BBQ'. I love the evening swims and the munching of hot chips (yes, these are allowed in moderation) with cold, beachy hands.
I love the tradition of setting up the Christmas tree on December 1, and the fact that James let's me decorate it solo because he knows I love it. I love the flicker of the Christmas lights, bouncing around to the tune of 'Red nose reindeer'.
I even love the wrapping of the Christmas presents, imagining excited little faces opening them on Christmas morning.
Most of all I love family and friends time, and the chance to come together. Mostly this involves a lot of delicious, fresh food (King prawns and fresh cherries were what I missed most whilst experiencing my five London Christmases) , a Christmas tipple or two, and a whole lot of laughs. It's no different of course to other friendly get togethers, except that it feels more relaxed. It's Summer afterall, and we've had a hell of a year!
So I want to share a recent recipe I came across from the unstoppable Australian Woman's Weekly. These Gingerbread Muffins are a no-sugar treat though if you don't subscribe to no sugar, you might want to add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients.
In the spirit of the season, they're a great treat to take into work before your beach holiday!
Maple Gingerbread Muffins
- dairy free spread, for greasing
- 1 3/4 cups (260g) wholemeal spelt flour
- 1/3 cup (40g) ground almonds
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 3 free-range eggs
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
- 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup (180ml) unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 12-hole (⅓-cup/80ml) muffin pan with dairy-free spread.
- Sift flour, ground almonds, ginger, mixed spice, baking powder and soda in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, oil, syrup, milk and extract in a medium bowl until combined. Add to the dry ingredients; mix until just combined.
- Place muffin cases in each hole and pour in one-twelfth of the batter in each case.
- Bake muffins for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Serve muffins warm with butter; drizzle with a little more maple syrup, if you like.
These muffins are best made on the day you serve them.