Typically, gingerbread is baked in a pan and then cut into squares, but in the following version the batter is ladled into standard-size muffins tins. When using tins, the baking time is cut almost in half, a big advantage for busy cooks. These muffins rise above the rims of the molds, but do not spread out as much as traditional ones. They are especially moist and tender because of a generous addition of butter, and have a deep brown hue from plenty of dark brown sugar and molasses. There’s also a double dose of ginger in these little cakes; ground ginger (along with other fragrant spices) is added to the batter, and halfway through the baking, chopped crystallized ginger is sprinkled atop each muffin.
This is a newer version of a recipe that appeared in Betty Rosbottom’s Cooking School Cookbook. This fragrant brew takes only minutes to prepare and is assembled by simmering fresh cider with melted butter, brown sugar, and spices. Dark rum and sliced apples and oranges round out the flavorings.