When I lived in the Northeast, I cherished this time of year. Especially when because I ran a bakery. I'd spend the summer sweating, grumbling, and tapping my feet as I waited for the first leaf to yellow and the first cold morning. As soon as Labor Day hit, while many are still on their last beach vacations, I was busy in the kitchen baking up all of my favorite Fall desserts. Gingerbread is one of them. Warm spiced and moist with molasses, it's a real cool weather treat. And like pumpkin pie, gingerbread also has a pretty short window of opportunity. I always found that from now until just after the New Year is when one craves it the most, so I'd make the best of seasonal gingerbread before it ended up on the sale rack.
For the cupcakes, I decided to do a twist on the classic gingerbread and layer in another level of flavor with some chocolate. This comes in two ways: cocoa and chocolate stout. For the method, I kept it sweet and simple. A quick dump and stir gets the cupcakes in the oven in a flash. For the frosting, instead of a simple cream cheese icing, why not some more chocolate? White chocolate is the winner here, adding a buttery indulgent flavor to the tangy cream cheese—the perfect topping to slather over my dainty sized but big flavored gingerbread.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.