I was sorting through some old magazines the other day and came across a nice idea for a Christmas present.
The magazine was actually issued last spring but the idea is perfect for Christmas.
Basically, you put all the dry ingredients for a batch of spiced muffins in a jar, with instructions, and parcel it up prettily with a wooden spoon to give as a gift.
I decided to give this to a couple of my friends who love to bake but don’t always have the time – the part that usually takes most of the time in making muffins is gathering together and weighing out all the ingredients. With this gift they just tip all the contents into a bowl, add egg, milk and melted butter and bake.
To make it even easier to bake I also included 12 muffin cases and 2 six-hole muffin tins which were only 99p each from the local factory shop. Everything fits neatly into a gift bag with the perfect Christmas design on it.
The recipe uses “tropical dried fruit mixture” which I couldn’t find locally, so I used a luxury dried fruit mixture and added some dried mango, pineapple, papaya, apricots and a little glacé ginger.
I thought it was wise to test the recipe by baking a batch myself, just to make sure it worked and tastes ok.
(Excuse for baking number 24b !!)
It was indeed very quick and easy and they tasted deliciously spicy, exactly right for Christmas.
(I am 99.9% sure none of them read this blog !!)
I looked at the BBC Good Food website and sure enough, although it actually appeared in a Spring magazine, you can see it here, presented as a Christmas recipe !! I have noticed before that a lot of the Good Food magazine recipes are regularly recycled and will turn up in books and magazines time and again, often using the same picture.
CHRISTMAS MUFFIN MIX
300g self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
2tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp mixed spice
100g chopped pecans or walnuts
140g tropical dried fruit mixture
100g light muscovado sugar
Layer all the ingredients in the order listed in a 1 litre glass or plastic preserving jar.
Write the following instructions on a gift tag:
“Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°fan/gas mark 5. Put the muffin cases in the tins. Tip the contents into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add two beaten eggs, 300ml milk and 100g melted butter. Mix quickly until just combined. Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 18-20 minutes. Best eaten within 24 hours and use within one month.”
Attach the label and wooden spoon to the jar with pretty ribbon or raffia.