This holiday season, I have a total obsession with gingerbread. I can’t stop. Won’t stop. I’m craving gingerbread like nobody’s business, making gingerbread treats, and watching them disappear to mere crumbs at the corners of my mouth before anyone else in the family has time to realize I baked something.
Taking this compulsive consumption into account, gingerbread had to get a bit healthier than a giant cookie covered in icing and cute candy eyes and buttons. Enter the gingerbread sweet potato muffin, aka the perfect thing to munch on a cozy Christmas morning or at brunch with friends. In past years I’ve been all about the cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, and eggs benedict for Christmas breakfast, but this year I’m simplifying the holidays as much as possible, in hopes of squeezing every ounce of enjoyment out of them without squeezing every ounce of energy and creativity out of myself. Warm, streusel-topped muffins and a platter of fresh fruit are exactly how I want to start any day, and the cozy flavour of gingerbread makes these a perfect fit for Christmas sweaters and cozy throw blankets.
And what’s a muffin without eggs?
My husband got me into eggs – there’s nothing like seeing and smelling someone frying, scrambling, boiling, or omeletting an egg half an hour after you’ve eaten breakfast to make you need a second breakfast, stat. I bought him a little frying pan JUST for his egg-making hobby, so I wouldn’t have to wash the full size beast every time he retired to eat his latest breakfast creation, oblivious to the turmoil he caused in my clear-stove-top-loving heart.
We eat eggs in one form or another virtually every.single.day. When asked to come up with a holiday recipe featuring eggs for Egg Farmers of Canada’s #BeEggsquisite campaign, I thought, where to start?! At Christmas I use eggs in meringue cookies, cranberry bliss cookies, lemon bars, and so much other holiday baking. They are also essential in our family’s stuffing recipe, which I’ve yet to share with you, and our Christmas Eve dinner, traditional tourtière.
We eat eggs on their own and in a huge variety of things, but ultimately, to me, eggs first say “breakfast”. You know how much I love my muffins, so, given my official obsession with gingerbread, a new holiday muffin was the perfect fit.
I was not aware, until partnering with Egg Farmers of Canada, that the eggs I buy in the grocery store are always coming from local farms. These eggs are fresh and local and so versatile it’s ridiculous. Egg Farmers of Canada represents more than 1,000 regulated egg farmers and farm families in Canada who work hard to provide Canadians with year-round access to fresh, local, high-quality eggs.
The only way I won’t eat an egg is in a nog, and I always have at least a dozen eggs in my fridge. Some of those eggs always go to muffins, and I’m putting today’s new recipe in my Top 3 favourite muffins ever. I’m not exactly sure what I’d choose for the other two and, to be honest, I’m pretty sure these incredibly moist, lightly spiced gingerbread sweet potato beauties would take top spot. And of course, I can never resist a streusel topping.
So tell me, how will you #BeEggsquisite this holiday season? Keep it simple? Ramp it up? Make up a festive new drink to serve guests? Serve Christmas dinner entirely on skewers, or with every single dish prepped ahead so you can just relax and enjoy the day? Encourage a dress-up theme for family dinner, or make place cards with pieces of nature from your yard? We’re all “eggsquisite” in our own way, and I love the holiday magic so many people are able to create in a way that suits them and their families.
Cheers to a delicious, peaceful, love- and -egg-filled holiday season :)
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice (or ¼ tsp each nutmeg and cloves)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter or hard margarine, softened
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup fancy molasses (not blackstrap)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk (see note)
- 2 cups (peeled) grated raw sweet potato
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- With electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars until smooth and pale, 2-3 minutes. Add molasses, vanilla and eggs and beat well.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating to make two additions of each. Stir until just combined. Fold in sweet potato until just combined, then divide batter over prepared muffin cups.
- Mix all topping ingredients with your fingers and sprinkle evenly over muffin tops.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until tops are firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool on rack for a few minutes before serving.
- For longer storage, wrap muffins individually and freeze, reheating for 30 seconds in the microwave any time you want a fresh muffin.
Alternatively, plain low fat yogurt or sour cream also work.
The sweet potato can be replaced with shredded carrots.
Disclosure: This post is part of the Egg Farmers of Canada #BeEggsquisite campaign and I was compensated for my involvement in this campaign. All content and opinions are, as always, my own. I seriously love eggs. And plays-on-words…”eggsquisite” makes me grin every time :)