Thursday, March 30, 2017

Anna Sultana's Hot Cross Muffins

One a penny, two a penny... 
hot cross buns...
If you have no daughters, 
give them to your sons.

How many foods have inspired poetry?
Hot cross buns are a traditional Lent favourite.
About six years ago I posted the recipe for Ma’s Hot Cross Buns.
And it’s a great, traditional recipe.


The problem with Hot Cross Buns is that it takes a bit of time to make them.
We’re talking a few hours, what with the kneading, rising, forming and second rising.
Then there’s the baking.
Not the greatest thing to make if you’ve just gotten a phone call telling you that your tradition-bound elderly Auntie will be visiting in an hour.

Every family has a tradition-bound elderly relative, the one who expects you to have a ready supply of desserts in keeping with the season.
The relative who will tell everyone that you have no respect for tradition if you don't.

Not to worry… these muffins are easy to make and taste nice and spicy.
Auntie will love them.


Hints:

This recipe  can also be baked as a loaf:
Lightly grease a 9 × 5 x 2 inch loaf pan.
Preheat oven to 350º
Prepare the same batter as for the muffins.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
Bake 1 hour. Insert a cake tester to make sure the loaf is done.
Cool on a rack 15 minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on the rack.

While the loaf is cooling, combine in a medium bowl for icing:
1 Cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
enough water to make a firm frosting
Spoon icing to form a pattern on the loaf, or spread the icing over the loaf and decorate with sprinkles.

Place the muffins or loaf in an airtight container.
Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.


If you’ve got more time to spare and you’d like to make a platter of muffins to really shut up... I mean, impress Auntie, these recipes would the job:






                        Easy Hot Cross Muffins

grease (or paper line) 12 medium-sized muffin cups
Place rack in centre of the oven.
preheat oven to 350º

in a large bowl combine
1 3/4 Cups flour
2/3 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon     
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves    
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice            
                                 
Add and mix in well
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 Cup candied mixed peel
1/2 Cup currants

Melt
2 Tablespoons butter

Place in a medium bowl 
1 egg
1 Cup milk
1/4 Cup oil
2 Tablespoons orange juice
the melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend thoroughly.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients.
Stir just until mixed. 
The batter will be lumpy.
Spoon into the prepared cups.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a cake tester to make sure the muffins are done.
Cool on a rack 15 minutes.
Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on the rack.

While the muffins are cooling, combine in a medium bowl for icing:
1 Cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
enough water to make a firm frosting
Spoon icing to form a cross on each muffin.

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