Hot Cross Muffins2013-03-16
Bored with chocolate eggs? Deliver these baked treats on Easter morning instead, and you’ll be more popular than you-know-who.
- 135g dried cranberries
- 1 cup (150g) currants
- 2 1/2 cups (375g) self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2/3 cup (165ml) sunflower oil
- 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 200g caster sugar, plus extra 2 tbs
- 80g icing sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin tray and line with paper cases.
Soak dried fruit in just enough boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towel.
Sift the flour, soda and spices into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and sugar until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the fruit. Divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place the extra 2 tbs sugar in a pan with 2 tbs water and simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze over the muffins.
Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough hot water to make a thick, pipable icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, then serve.
These are an easy alternative to hot cross buns, aromatic with sweet bun spices and decorated with a quick cross made of drizzled icing. Cranberries are not at all conventional, of course, but I love the little bursts of flavour they add. Use whatever combination of dried fruit you prefer.