Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gingerbread Pomegranate Muffins

I still remember the day I first saw a pomegranate. I was a Freshman or Sophomore in college and I saw an upperclassmen girl eating this really strange looking thing. What on earth was this weirdly shaped, strangely seeded, beautifully colored thing? I was so baffled by the fact that a fruit existed that I had never heard of or seen before. Pom-a-what? My curiosity about this strange thing was lost to my college studies and I soon forgot about wanting to learn more about it. Fast forward 7 years...picture me in a grocery store and somehow by chance my cart runs into the pomegranate fruit stand. Is this my destiny? To finally be reunited with the long lost fruit of my past? It just seemed right, everything fell into place and I heard angels singing...finally, I would eat and cook with a Pomegranate! Okay, okay, I think...wait no, I know I am getting a little too carried away...but seriously people this fruit is pretty awesome. It is like walking into a surprise party for yourself 3 months before your actual birthday...oh yeah, that actually happened to me. : ) True story.

If you have never encountered a Pomegranate I encourage you to go buy one and try it. They somehow remind me of aliens, bath bubbles, and wall colors...but judge for yourself.

Here are some tips and facts about the Pomegranate:

1) They are messy to peel, so for best results peel submerged in water. You can also freeze the fruit and then they are super easy to seed.

2) They surprisingly have nothing to do with counter tops in your home...that would be granite.

3) Pomegranates grow on a small, wonder if they are shaped into anything like a statue of the Pomegranate queen.

4) The name "pomegranate" is from from the Latin word pomum, meaning "apple", and granatus meaning "seeded".

5) The seeds inside a Pomegranate are called "arils"

6) The Pomegranate's birth place is Iran, not Iwalk.
..sorry I couldn't help myself : )

7) Pomegranates are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashana because the seeds symbolize fruitfulness.

8) Pomegranates are also a symbol of marriage and if you are single maybe if you walk around with a pomegranate you will find your true love...of course if you do that you run the risk of being known as the crazy pomegranate lady...but hey, at least it ain't cats.

9) I really want to make Pomegranate sorbet...and eat it with dark chocolate sauce.

10) I dislike pink, but one day when I grow up I want a room in my home to have pomegranate wall adjacent to a wall shellacked with old newspapers.

I feel bad about making the Pomegranate the focus of this post, because really folks it is more about the gingerbread, but I had to follow my heart and tell you about the Pomegranate. Gingerbread sounds boring and old. Kind of like that pair of sweatpants you put on at the end of a bad know it, you love it, but some days you just want something a pretty dress or a Pomegranate. I do love me some gingerbread though. I don't make it as often as I should, mostly because I am the only one in the house who really likes it. That is an understatement, I love it. : )

Gingerbread Pomegranate Muffins
makes 10 muffins

In large bowl cream the following with a mixer until smooth and not grainy 2-3 minutes:

6 TBS room temp unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Scrape down the bowl and then slowly add the following while continuing to mix:

2 eggs room temp
1/2 cup molasses

Mix until smooth and no longer broken looking. Scrape down and then add the sifted or whisked together following:

1 2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Stir just until combined and then add:
1/2 cup warm water

Stir, scrape, and then add:

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (optional, then these would just be gingerbread muffins)

Stir and pour 1/3 cup of batter into lined muffin tins. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched.

Cool and enjoy with fresh whipped cream or sweetened cream cheese.

Did you know that God is a fan of Pomegranates? I mean besides the whole creating them thing they are mentioned in the Bible numerous times. My favorite being here:

"Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil." - Song of Solomon 4:3

I am pretty sure that is meant as a compliment...but really if a guy ever told me that I might have to kick him.

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