Spiced Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Being the good American that I am, whenever I see an awesome recipe, I think, “How can I make that into a dessert?” So when I was flipping through the whimsical Tassajara Bread Book last year and spied the artfully named “Festival Spice Muffins,” I immediately decided they could use a nice cream cheese frosting on them.

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And let me tell you something: The Tassajara Bread Book (and the Tassajara Recipe Book) is exactly something you’d expect to come out of a Zen Mountain Center in northern California during the 70s. Hence the whole wheat, “festival” aspect; surprisingly, though, there is no mention of what seemed like the inevitable main ingredient: marijuana. No, these muffins are above that, thank you very much — they fortified monks-in-training and summer guests who came to experience the loveliness of a quiet, unplugged zen lifestyle for a few days, like my parents. (It’s funny to think that pre-internet people needed to leave their busy lives behind to return to a simpler time. What did they do all day, anyway?).

But I digress. While these are technically called muffins (and are pretty great on their own), they really shine as cupcakes.

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Whole Wheat Festival Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting (from The Tassajara Bread Book):

For the Muffins

Ingredients (makes 1 dozen large muffins):

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mace (though I left this out, because I didn’t feel like buying it)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin tin, or add in some cupcake liners.

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Combine dry ingredients (and feel free to add a little more or less of the spices  — I added a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg) and mix.

Combine wet ingredients and mix.

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Fold the wet and dry ingredients together, until flour is moistened (basically, don’t over-mix it).

Pour mix into the muffin tin.

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Bake for about 20 minutes. While the muffins cool, make the frosting.

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For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter (melted)

Beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate the muffins once they are frosted.

 

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2 responses to “Spiced Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. bridget gallant

    They look delicious, Hollis👍

  2. I will never forget our time at Tassajara! The meals were outstanding, as I’m sure the muffins are!
    Thanks, Hollis!

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