Are you ready? Aside from a couple of things (presents to wrap, more ribbon to buy, etc) I think I kinda, sorta, maybe am. I spent the whole of yesterday baking. As usual, I cracked out the Orange and Cardamon biscuits. When they were arranged on the cooling tray, they reminded me of Carly's gorgeous heart print. I also made Rocky Road, Vanilla Biscuits and Cranberry Pecan and White Chocolate Cookies from the new Nigella Christmas book. And these muffins, which I bastardized by fiddling with the spices (because we'd run out of some) and adding orange zest - because most things benefit from the addition of orange zest, don't you think?
Cranberry Spiced Muffins
(Adapted from a recipe in Notebook Magazine, December 2008)
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
Zest of one orange
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tablespoon finely chopped pecans, extra
1 tablespoon brown sugar, extra
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line your muffin pan.
2. Place the cranberries in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes & then drain well.
3. Combine flour, sugar, pecans, spice, zest and cranberries in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil and egg together in a jug. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon evenly into prepared pans.
4. Combine extra pecans and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over the muffins.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when tested & then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
Wishing you all a very merry, happy, restful and safe christmas, friends! xo