I'm making these for tomorrow morning...
135g dried cranberries
1 cup (150g) currants
2 1/2 cups (375g) self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup (165ml) sunflower oil
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
200g caster sugar, plus extra 2 tbs
80g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
(for those of you in North America and who don't have access to self-rising flour, you can make your own with 3/4 c of all-purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt
Caster sugar can be a bit of a challenge here too, so I just put regular sugar in the food processor and give it a bit of a whizz until the grains look smaller!)
Preheat oven to 200°C (400 F). Grease a 12-cup muffin tray and line with paper cases.
Soak dried fruit in just enough boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towel.
Sift the flour, soda and spices into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and sugar until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the fruit. Divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place the extra 2 tbs sugar in a pan with 2 tbs water and simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze over the muffins.
Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough hot water to make a thick, pipable icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, then serve.
These are an easy alternative to hot cross buns, aromatic with sweet bun spices and decorated with a quick cross made of drizzled icing. Cranberries are not at all conventional, of course, but I love the little bursts of flavour they add; use whatever combination of dried fruit you prefer.