Saturday, April 15, 2006

HCMs - Healthy, Cute, Magical Hot Cross Muffins
I don't know about you but in my mind, it just wouldn't be Good Friday (or Easter at all) without Hot Cross Buns. Unfortunately, unlike in the past, I couldn't find anythat didn't have milk solids or milk protein in them. I actually think this ended up being a good thing because I am really moving away from commercially produced foods with lots of preservatives in them, so I'm glad I didn't get any Hot Cross Buns.
I then considered baking my own but I'm really not into sitting around for hours waiting for balls of yeasty dough to expand and, after all, I am the vegan MUFFIN princess so what did I do? I made Hot Cross Muffins! Another recipe made up as I went, and another success. These really have the taste of HCBs, if not the consistency, and they totally hit the spot. Plus the house smells great - nice and cinnamoney! So here is the recipe:

-1 cup self raising wholewheat flour
-1/2 cup Crunchola Cereal ***
-1/4 cup cornmeal
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/8 tsp ground cloves
-2 tbsp vegan brown sugar
-equivelant to 1 1/2 eggs
-1/4 cup low fat soymilk
-1/4 cup water
-2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
-1 tsp liquid sweetner (I used Rice Malt Syrup)
-1/4 cup (or more) dried fruit (I used chopped dried apples and sultanas)

-plain white flour
-lemon juice
-liquid sweetner

Preheat the oven to about 180-200 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl mix the flour, cereal, cornmeal and spices until combined. Whisk the egg, milk, water, applesauce and liquid sweetner in another bowl then add to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry indgredients are moist. Then stir in the dried fruit and place into muffin tins. (Lightly oil, or use silicone). Bake for about 15 minutes until just firm. While they are baking, make the mixture for the crosses. I'm afraid I didn't use any measurements for this, I just mixed a bit of everything together until I had enough and it was the right consistency. Obviously you wouldn't want to do this if it wasn't easter anyway. Take the muffins out of the oven and carefully spread the flour mixture in cross shapes on the top then put back in and bake for another ten minutes. Enjoy!

*** I had a lot of this cereal left and was keen to use it up - obviously it is not going to be something everyone can get but it can be easily recreated. The ingredients are just rolled oats, fruit juice concentrate, cinnamon and some dried apple. If you can't find anything simiar, I suggest just toasting some oats and then adding a little more cinnamon to the recipe.

If you want to make these at an occasion other than Easter (which I highly recommend!) I would call them Spicy Three Grain Muffins.By the way, sorry about the blueness of the photo!


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