Whenever I encounter a new or unusual ingredient at a local grocery store I show my true food geek colors and become exuberantly excited with all the possibilities. (If you remember my enthusiasm over a lone baby bok choy
, then this will come as no surprise.) What I did not know, was that some of my food geekiness has rubbed off onto Mr. B. One day he came home from work, first having stopped by the store to pick up a few things for dinner. When he set the grocery bags on the counter he was grinning and I thought, “Oh great, he bought ice cream again.” But instead of pulling out a pint, he fished around in the bags and pulled out a container of crystalized ginger chips
. “Look what I found!” he exclaimed.
Opening the container I found it full of tiny crystallized ginger chips, each coated with a light dusting of sugar and starch. I quickly shared Mr. B’s excitement. If you have ever tried to cut crystallized ginger into tiny pieces then you know how challenging it is to keep the ginger from forming a sticky mashed mess on your cutting board and knife. Attempts to coat the knife, cutting surface, and ginger with sugar only helps a little to separate the chunks. I usually end up tossing the clumps in sugar and then trying to break them up with my fingers while scattering the ginger into my baking bowl. Using a mechanized process to achieve superior individual chips of crystallized ginger makes so much sense. This is one instance where technology really can help achieve superior results.
After sharing in his excitement, I asked Mr. B what we should make with his find. He quickly suggested ginger peach muffins. Having learned in the past not to mess with Mr. B’s creative genius
, I decided to dive right in and make the muffins.
The muffin batter comes together easily, with just a quick mix of dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and then folding them all together. As I sprinkled in the ginger chips I was happy to see that they remained in individual bits throughout the batter, ensuring a little ginger in each muffin. A cinnamon sugar crumble topping with chopped pecans and a few more ginger bits tops off the muffins, adding a delightful crunch to contrast the softly sweet crumb below.
The finished muffins were sweeter than our traditional muffin fare, but we enjoyed them so much that they quickly disappeared for breakfast, snacks, and even after dinner. I mailed a few muffins to my pecan-hating father who polished them off in no time flat (and decided that pecan toppings are not too bad after all). If you like a tasty ginger peach muffin, or share Mr. B’s excitement for all things ginger then find some ginger chips
and turn on the oven!
*Disclaimer – Mr. B bought the ginger chips himself and the Ginger People
have no idea who we are.*
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 medium peaches peeled, diced (about 2 cups) (I used thawed frozen peaches)
1/4 cup ginger chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1/8 cup ginger chips
2/3 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons melted butter
*If you have any leftover topping it is excellent on oatmeal.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper muffin liners.
Make the Topping
In a small bowl, mix together the chopped pecans, ginger chips, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter. The mixture should form loose clumps. Set aside.
Make the Muffins
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until well combined.
In a separate medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla, until all ingredients are combined.
Pour half of the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients, and stir gently to combine. Add the rest of the wet ingredients, and mix as little as possible to just combine. Next, gently fold in the peaches and ginger chips, stirring just until all dry ingredients are moistened and the ginger is distributed throughout the batter.
Pour the batter into the muffin cups, until each muffin cup is 2/3rds full. Sprinkle the topping evenly across the muffins. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.