I make these muffins around Easter time every year. I just love hot cross buns but I find these muffins so easy to prepare and so tasty, I almost don't miss the real thing!! Didn't have any apricots, so used dried cranberries - very tasty!
Easter Hot Cross Muffinsadapted from Chatelaine magazine
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon clove (optional)
1/2 cup candied peel
1/2 cup chopped dried apricot (used dried cranberries this time)
1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup Canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Glaze1 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
4 teaspoons orange juice (used lemon juice this time)
Preheat oven to 350°F Place raisins in a small bowl. Pour juice overtop. Microwave, covered, until hot, 1 minute Set aside. Lightly coat or spray a 12-cup muffin tin or 9x5 inch loaf pan with oil. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir flour with sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and cloves. Stir in raisin mixture, candied peel and apricots.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk egg. Whisk in milk, oil, butter and vanilla. Pour over flour mixture. Stir just until mixed. Batter will be lumpy. Divide between muffin cups or scrape into loaf pan and smooth top.
Bake in centre of preheated oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of muffins or loaf comes out clean, 20 to 25 minute for muffins, 1 hour for loaf. Remove pan to a cooling rack. After 5 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on rack. Store muffins or loaf in an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.
Stir sifted icing sugar with orange juice until smooth. Drizzle over cooled muffins in a criss-cross pattern to mimic hot cross buns or spoon over loaf, if you wish.