Hot Peppered Gingerbread Muffins with Orange Maple Butter

Well, after nearly two and a half years, this is the final recipe from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. It’s hard to believe our group has baked through the entire book, but here we are. From the very first selection, honey beescotti, to this week’s hot pepper gingerbread muffins, it’s been so much fun trying the variety of recipes in the book and along the way, I’ve also made some great blogging buddies.  We’ll be sharing one more post next week recapping some of our favorite recipes from the book.  I won’t lie and say I’ve loved every thing I’ve made, but there have been many, many keepers and I’m eager to put them all together in one place for easy reference for you guys and myself :)

Hot Peppered Gingerbread Muffins with Orange Maple Butter

It’s sort of funny that this week’s recipe was gingerbread muffins. Though I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer yet, we are heading in that direction, and in the past few weeks I’ve heard so many other people say they’re ready for fall baking. With an assortment of warm spices and molasses in the muffins, as well as maple syrup in the butter, this recipe definitely screams fall. The muffins also called for ground white and black pepper, as well as cayenne, hence the “hot pepper” part of the title. I halved the recipe and left out the black and white pepper (I’ve tried them in other baked goods, and didn’t enjoy them). I wound up with 8 muffins which domed so nicely in the oven.

Hot Peppered Gingerbread Muffins with Orange Maple Butter

I had a muffin for breakfast today with a smear of the orange maple butter, and it was delicious – very moist and spicy, with just a tiny kick of heat from the cayenne. The butter was really fragrant from the orange zest and had a touch of sweetness from the maple syrup, it complemented the muffins perfectly! A big thank you to Karen of Karen’s Cookies Cake & More for not only hosting this week’s muffins, but also tackling the administrative duties for our group for quite some time. She shared the recipe for the muffins on her blog this week if you’d like to try them.