Okay, so our excitement for the big day is at critical level right now. The presents have been bought (well, at least thought about!), the trees have been decorated, and Wham!’s Last Christmas has been overheard in every shop we’ve hunted through. Yes, it’s officially Christmas.
The only thing on our minds now is surviving those last shopping battles and prepping the all important Christmas feast. Oh dear. So perhaps we’re not entirely ready for the big twenty-fifth, but one way to ease the stress of those last minute food preparations is to greet those Christmas morning sleepy heads with a batch of pre-prepared apple and walnut muffins.
These slightly spiced, sugar topped, drool-worthy cakes are the perfect way to open the festivities on Christmas day. And the best thing is they can be baked right now and frozen, ready to just pop in the oven on Christmas morning while you let someone else worry about that turkey.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, GM 6).
2. Into a large bowl, sift 275g Self Raising flour, 1tsp of baking powder and 1tsp of that all important mixed spice. Add 75g caster sugar and give the whole thing a very light stir.
3. In another bowl, beat two eggs, 225ml milk and 100g melted butter.
4. Pour this wet mixture into the larger bowl of dry ingredients and mix quickly. There’s no need to beat the mixture, or spend an age over mixing it as this could cause those lovely muffins to become really dense. And no-one likes a heavy muffin.
5. Once mixed, fold in two pre-chopped eating apples (leaving the skins on is fine) and 100g chopped walnuts.
6. Line a muffin tin with paper cases, and spoon the mixture into these.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are golden on top. Festive!
8. For a bit of added sparkle, drizzle on some honey and a sprinkle of Demerara sugar (this can be done before or after freezing. Whatever you’d prefer!)
If you are freezing these muffins for Christmas morning, simply leave them to cool completely, pop into a plastic box and into the freezer. If you make them now, they’ll keep wonderfully for Christmas, just take as many as you need out of the freezer on Christmas Eve, leave them to defrost and pop them into a preheated oven for five to ten minutes the next morning for a deliciously warm breakfast.
Now, where is that guy in red? We’ve been extra good this year!
By Danni Slater