Claims have been made that there is a faint scent of beet in these,
but only the truly paranoid would notice!
½ c butter, softened
2/3 c sugar (if you need your cupcakes to be shockingly sweet, use ¾ c sugar)
1 T molasses
1 large egg
4–5 small to medium beets
1 c whole wheat flour
½ c baking cocoa
2 t baking soda (NOT baking powder)
¼ t cayenne pepper (for more than a hint of a bite, add 3/8 t cayenne pepper)
½ t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t ginger
generous handful of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Trim the leaves, stems and roots off the beets. Eat the beet greens
with dinner. Halve, or quarter (if they are larger than 2″ in
diameter) the beets. Boil for 25 minutes, or until tender. Cool.
Peel, by squishing and agitating the beets between your fingers until
the skin slips off. If the skin doesn’t slip off easily, they need to
be cooked longer. Puree until very smooth. Wearing art clothes,
black, a lab coat, or just your underwear is strongly recommended
while working with beets. An apron may not provide sufficient
coverage. Do NOT wear your favorite shirt. Under any condition.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter 12 muffin tins. In a small mixing
bowl, mix the cocoa, flour, soda, and spices. Be sure to take a deep
whiff over the bottle of cloves. If they don’t carry you away to a
land of exotic and luxurious daydreams, you may need a new bottle
(more than 5 years old?). In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter
and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the molasses.
Beat in the beets. The mixture will look disgusting, and almost
curdled, but beat it a little harder and then move on to the next
step. Add in the flour mixture gradually. Stir in the chocolate
chips. Spoon into the muffin tins. The mixture may only make 11,
depending on precisely how large your beets were and whether you added
the chocolate chips. If so, fill the remaining muffin cup with water.
Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bribe someone else into doing the
shocking number of dishes you created.
To prettify them (aka to impress your book club, knitting group, PTA,
or Kiwanis club), dust with powdered sugar. Frosting is overkill.
Just… don’t go there. Icing (ginger? rum? lime?) could be acceptable,
but has not been tested.