Friday, January 02, 2009

Sweet & Simple Bakes (December): Christmas Muffins

This time, the challenge was very interesting. Both Rosie and Maria made a polling system for S&S Bakers to choose their favorite. The following showed the choices and the number of votes:

Christmas muffin - 20 votes
Trifle - 7 votes
Minced Pies - 5 votes
Gingerbread People - 16 votes
Stained Glass Window Cookies - 19 votes

I voted for the gingerbread people, unfortunately, the votes were not high enough. No biggie.. I enjoyed making the Christmas muffin on Christmas eve morning. It was good. Well, I am not really a big fan for muffins but I would say these muffins were good. Moist and doesn't break into pieces. I'm looking forward to bake gingerbread people and stained glass window cookies in the future.

This recipe is sourced and adapted from Nigella Christmas cookbook. A very beautiful book by, The Domestic Goddess’s herself and it definitely is worth purchasing for all the magnificent festive recipes inside.

Christmas Morning Muffins ~ adapted from Nigella Christmas Book
Makes 12

250g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g (4 oz) caster (super fine) sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Good grating of fresh nutmeg (or ¼ tsp ground nutmeg)
2 Clementine’s or Satsuma’s *see notes*
Approx 125ml (4 fl oz) full-fat milk
75g (3 oz) vegetable oil (or melted butter, left to cool slightly)
1 egg
175g (6 oz) dried cranberries

For The Topping
3 tsp Demerara sugar *see notes*

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin paper cases.
Measure the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl; grate the zest of the Clementine’s/Satsuma’s over and combine.
Squeeze the juice of the Clementine’s/Satsuma’s into a measuring jug, and pour in the milk until it comes up to the 200ml (7 fl oz) mark.
Add the oil (or slightly cooled, melted butter) and egg, and lightly beat until just combined.
Pour this liquid mixture into the bowl of dried ingredients and stir until everything is more or less combined, remembering that a well-beaten mixture makes for heavy muffins; a lumpy batter is a good here.
Fold in the cranberries, then spoon the batter into the muffin cases and sprinkle the Demerara sugar on top.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
The muffins are ready to eat now either plain or broken up and smeared with butter and marmalade.

* Notes**

Cranberries could also be replaced with another dried fruit of choice**

Clementine’s/Satsuma’s*If you’re unable to source Clementine’s or Satsuma’s, 1 orange of zest and juice would be adequate.

* Demerara Sugar is*: Large crystals, golden in colour, which also adds a crunch to baked goods.

I can’t purchase Demerara sugar - what could I use instead?
Granulated Sugar: This is a pure, naturally white, crystalline sugar.
Sugar Cubes: Brown/white, would be a lovely addition instead of Demerara sugar; crunched up and sprinkled over the top of each muffin before baking.

If you wish to bake these muffins on Christmas morning for breakfast; you could measure out the dry ingredients the night before into a bowl and cover over, and also pop the muffin cases into the muffin tin. Then on the day, preheat the oven, add the grated zest to the dry ingredients and whisk up the wet ingredients. Mix the mixture together as above and scoop the mixture into the muffins cases and bake as above.

Check out the rest of the S&B Bakers here!



natalia said...

Ciao ! Happy new year with this very nice muffins !!

Rosie said...

Happy New Year Lilmizlynn!!

Your muffins look stunning!! Many thanks for partaking in this month's bake and I hope you'll join us in our next bake :0)

I will add your muffins to the round-up

Best wishes Rosie x

Maria said...

Happy New year!

Your muffins look gorgeous and so glad you liked them. We really enjoyed them too!

Thanks for taking part and hope you will join us again.


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