It may seem a little early to be starting on Christmas baking but there is a very good reason for this. My nextdoor neighbour and I were talking and she mentionned that she needed a baking project for her class to do for the Christmas fair to raise funds but that there were a number of criteria that needed to be met, no boring fairy cakes, for example! I thought I’d seen a recipe somewhere about that would work but it proved to be a figment of my imagination. So I decided to invent something that would, hopefully, work. These are the delightful result!
They have all the tastes of Christmas but not in an overwhelming way. I have to confess I don’t usually like Christmassy flavoured things, I eat Christmas pudding after Christmas dinner because it’s traditional not because I like it. However, I really liked these muffins. They had all of the flavours but lacked the heavy, stodgy feeling I usually associate with Christmas foods. All in all a great experiment and come Christmas I shall certainly be making these again.
150g mixed dried fruits
zest and juice of 1 orange
50g dark muscoavdo sugar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
150g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Holly berry and leaf decorations (I made leaves out of white icing and green colouring and berries out of glace cherry bits)
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6 and prepare 6 holes of a muffin tin.
– Combine the fruit and orange zest and juice in a microwavable dish and microwave for 2 minutes. Alternately leave them to soak for an hour.
– Beat together the sugar, milk, egg and oil.
– Sift the flour, baking podwer, nutmeg, mixed spice and salt into the mixture.
– Fold in gently.
– Add the mixed fruits and stir in.
– Divide the mixture evenly between the six cases.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes. (Mine took 25)
– Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little in the tin then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
– Mix together the icing sugar and the lemon juice until smooth.
– Once the muffins have cooled spoon a little of the icing over each muffin.
– Add the holly decorations and leave to set.