Today is the first Sunday of advent, so to start kicking off the celebrations for the next four weeks, I got out of bed early and baked Christmas breakfast muffins (seriously, I did!).
I have used this really easy recipeas a breakfast muffin on Christmas morning and on Boxing Day, and made the preparation time quicker by preparing everything the night before (I'll add some tips on this at the end of the post).
This recipe for Christmas muffins spreads a lovely warming smell throughout the house, filling your home with spicy, fruity and citrus scents- almost like edible aromatherapy!
I have added dried cranberries to this recipe for the festive touch, but this morning, as blackberries are coming into season here in Australia, I used those instead (from a little farm called The Bramble Farm).
Recipe for Christmas Muffins - Recipe will make 10 muffins.
Preparation time is 10 minutes, baking time 20 minutes
210g self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/42 teaspoon salt
50 g sultanas, 50g currants, 70g blackberries or cranberries or glace cherries
2 tablespoons brandy (optional 😉 )
100mL orange juice (freshly squeezed)
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
100mL milk (or eggnog if you have any left over)
60g melted butter
1) Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C, or 350 F. Soak fruits in brandy and orange juice for 10 minutes (the brandy is optional, and the alcohol does cook out in the baking). Line you muffin tray with 10 patty pans.
2) Melt butter in a small pan or microwave allow to cool.
3) Add add dry ingredients to a large bowl: flour, sugar, spices.
4) Add soaked fruit to the dry ingredients.
5) In a measuring jug add milk, egg and cooled butter and whisk well. Add to dry ingredients and gently fold through. Make sure you fold the mixture no more than 15 times (that's what I average ) otherwise your muffins will be tough.
6) Add a large scoop of batter to each muffin, almost going to the top of the patty pan. Put into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the top of the muffin is firm to touch. Don't open the oven door until after the first 15 minutes or your muffins may sink.
7) When baked, remove tray from oven, then remove muffins from try and cool on a cake rack. When completely cooled, dust with icing sugar and serve with brandy butter!
We didn't have brandy butter at breakfast- I just though of that now
TOP TIPS: In the dusting of the Christmas muffins pics, I used coffee dusting templates for the patterns, which I'd purchased from the supermarket years ago.
FRUGAL TIPS: If you can't find these shapes, use a sheet of overhead projection film, or cut out shapes from a cereal box). And dust the muffins over a sheet of baking paper so you can reuse the icing sugar.
If you wanted to prepare this the night before, simply prepare all the dry ingredients in a bowl and cover. Soak the fruits in another bowl and cover (or airtight container) and leave in the fridge. Add the melted butter and liquids into another airtight container and mix really well, so that the butter doesn't clump. Pre line the muffin tin. In the morning all you'll need to do is preheat the oven, add the wet ingredients to the dry (plus the fruit), fold and pour, then bake!
I've also used this recipe, but added mixed fruit or left over (frugal baking tip!) fruit mince (I'd add about 50 g more of these ingredients to use it as a fruit cake substitute), and used it instead of a real fruit cake for the day.
Remember to check out my Christmas Baking List for more recipes. If you try this recipe, which I hope you will because it's so easy and simply delicious, please let me know your results.