Holiday gift? Quick and easy? Yes and yes. Or done and done! I know I've told you I've gotten a lot of emails asking me to please write up more quick & easy recipes. And lately I've been giving them out. I'm a proud to show you yet another one that happened as a matter of quick thinking. AND this is a fabulous holiday treat to give to friends, family, co-workers. My hubby brought these into work and they were gone in ONE hour. Crazy vultures! And I got an email from someone at hubbys' work saying how much she enjoyed them--I love that; that is exactly why I love to bake.
If any of you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know I love to cruise the aisles of Trader Joe's with iphone in hand and snap up photos of the latest new items. I love Trader Joe's, I think they have good priced frozen meals, but are lacking on the fresh produce and breads. Their snacks, cookies, candies are pretty good and decently priced.
On a previous trip to TJ's I sampled their pumpkin bread and was blown away at how good it tasted; definitely didn't taste like it came from a box. So when I saw the new gingerbread mix I had to give them a go too. And yes, that is how the gingerbread cupcakes came about. Instead of baking them in a bread/loaf pan I made them into 12 cupcakes. They came out fabulous. I mean no one ever knew they were from a box--well until now. Next time you go try them. Let me know how you kicked them up. I kicked mine up by adding a white chocolate-cream cheese ganache. I just think white chocolate and gingerbread are a match made in heaven if the white chocolate has a bit of savory to it. You feeling me people? Are you with me? Good because you are going to LOVE these lil beauties.
gingerbread cupcakes with white chocolate-cream cheese ganache
1 box of Trader Joe’s Gingerbread mix
Bake the cupcakes according to the package, but instead of using a pan use 12 cupcakes. Mine were done baking in about 17- 20 minutes. Let cool completely and start on the ganche.
White chocolate-cream cheese ganache
½ - ¾ cup of high quality white chocolate
Good splash of heavy cream
4 ounces of room temp cream cheese
Pinch of sea salt
In a saucepan, over very low heat, melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. When the chocolate is just melted, add in the room temp cream cheese and start mixing. You will be mixing for a while to get it to a nice glossy, smooth texture. Add in the sea salt. Taste test.
When the Ganache is just about combined, take off the heat and finish mixing. Make sure your cupcakes are ready to go and be frosted as the white chocolate Ganache does NOT stay melted for long—it dries up fast.
Pour the Ganache over the cupcakes on a wire rack (or on wax paper).