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Gingerbread Bites With Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield Makes about 6 dozen
One recipe made three treats for each guest at this party. Use a vegetable peeler to peel carrots and ginger and to make the garnish. Peel a thin layer of rind from 1 orange, and cut into thin strips using a knife. Unfrosted gingerbread muffins may be frozen in zip-top plastic freezer bags up to 1 week. Frost and garnish in the morning, and refrigerate until serving time.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large carrots, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup minced fresh ginger (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Garnishes: small pecan halves, crystallized ginger, orange rind strips

How to Make It

  1. Beat sugar and vegetable oil at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in grated carrots and fresh ginger.

  2. Combine all-purpose flour and next 6 ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture, beating at low speed until moistened. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans.

  3. Pour batter into lightly greased miniature muffin tins, filling two-thirds full.

  4. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread tops evenly with Orange-Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish, if desired.