Surprisingly Sweet Beet Muffins

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. plain yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar or 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup grated raw beets
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup very hot water
1/2 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. each cloves and nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare 18 muffin cups, either by greasing or lining.  Cream together the butter, yogurt, and sugar until smooth.  Add the beets and mix thoroughly; add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Dissolve the molasses in the hot water.  Add half the flour mixture to the beet mixture and mix briefly, then add half the molasses and water.  Repeat with the remaining flour and water, mixing just until all the ingredients are incorporated.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, just until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.