Friday, 16 November 2012

Frosting Optional!

Welcome to my little corner of Jennifer's Frosty Festivities Blog Hop.  If you've come to me from Jacky then you'll already know all about the great prize on offer, but if not, there are details at the bottom of this post.

It's getting colder and colder here in the UK and with the nights drawing in it's harder to get out for a healthy and invigorating weekend walk with the family.  But we do our best and if there's something yummy to come home to, like a steaming cup of hot chocolate or a tasty treat, there are fewer complaints as we set out!  With Christmas approaching, the next baking session is likely to include some mincemeat (the sweet kind full of raisins, sultanas, cherries and maybe a little brandy) but rather than traditional mince pies, my family is very keen on mincemeat muffins.

I discovered the recipe in January 2011 when I was looking for ways to use up left-over mincemeat after Christmas.  This festive treat is from Debbie Nicholas at Country Heart & Home and provides a welcome change from more traditional mince pies and Christmas cake.

Photo - Mini Mincemeat Muffins ready to bake

We're not great lovers of cupcake frosting here, so our version harks back to Debbie's original from 2009: topping the muffin mixture with cinammon and chopped glace cherries and omitting the frosting.  In an effort to further cut down the calories, we make them in mini-muffin cases.  These photos were from a massive baking session for a family buffet ... 60 mouthfuls of festive heaven.

Photo - Mini Mincemeat Muffins
Yum!
Debbie has just produced a book full of clever recipes (including "Christmas Muffins") with lots of gift-wrapping ideas to make wonderful presents ... "Gifts From Your Kitchen" ... perfect for a crafty friend on your Xmas list, or great inspiration for yourself if you like the idea of a home-made Christmas.  It's currently half-price on Amazon too!

Photo - Frosty Festivities Prize
Click on the pic for a closer view
Do you make bake gifts at Christmas?
What's your favourite treat after a chilly winter walk?

Don't forget, if you comment on all the blogs listed in the Frosty Festivities Blog Hop, ending up with a comment to let Jennifer know you've been all the way around, then you'll be in with a chance to win a spectacular seasonal prize of Basic Grey Aspen Frost and Carta Bella Winter Fun items, worth over £25!  Comments must be made by 10.59pm GMT on Monday November 19th.

Your next hop stop is  Jenny - have fun :o)

43 comments:

K said...

Thanks for the reminder Jem, I meant to make these last year & totally forgot, they do look rather scrummy.

hotpotato said...

muffins look yummy.

scrappyjacky said...

These look and sound delicious.

humel said...

Oh, yum - I was hoping for some recipe inspiration :) Not that I can actually cook again yet, but when I can I shall have a frenzy of baking!!

Fay aka Beautifullily said...

I don't bake any Xmas gifts, but was thinking of trying some more foodie ideas this year.

Louise said...

yum yum..they look delish! I'll be checking them out. I always make ginger biscuits for teachers presents x

Tracy said...

Oh, wow, these look delicious. Maybe a bit lighter than mince pies

Lesley G said...

They look delicious but being veggie just the word "mince" puts me off :(

I've just made some lemon curd and my raspberries are stewing in the red wine until Monday when I can add cointreau to make my liquer, now that would be warming after a chilly walk!!

furrypig said...

I have a recipe for carrot muffins with sultanas and pineapple I sooo need to make them again as they are yummy! For Christmas my 2 main baking items are the Christmas pud and the Christmas cake!

JO SOWERBY said...

I love baking and making and am planning on making some cupcakes this year. My fave thing after a walk would be a Starbucks Gingerbread latte but I'd have a mighty long walk to get it as the nearest is now 9 miles away so an 18 mile roundtrip.............bah humbug indeed,
Jo xxxx

Jennifer Grace said...

Ooh, these look so yummy! My hubby loves mince pies, but I'm not that fussed, where as I love muffins. Perhaps these would be a good compromise! We don't 'do' frosting either.

Thanks so much for joining in the blog hop! Even if you did make my mouth water with your post! x

Sian said...

These sound delicious! We do up our kitchen activity at this time of year and we love to make big batches of fudge to give to anyone who drops in. Eat a lot ourselves too, of course..

The book sounds like just the kind of thing TSO would like as a surprise gift - I'll check it out

Angelfish said...

Might have to give the muffins I go. I always bake Nigella's Christmas cupcakes each year.

Julie said...

I must say I have never had mincemeat before and it sounds like I'm missing something good. Will have to try it soon.

Jane said...

I love baking for Christmas and must have a go at making these.

Kirsty.a said...

Mmm. Nice idea. I'm not a fan of pastry mince pies so I might try these. I'll be making Nigella's chilli jam and spiced nuts, and probably some chocolate truffles for gifts

Mary B said...

Yummy, thanks for the reminder my next make is mincemeat so will definitely do some of those muffins

Lizzie said...

Mmmm... "mouthfuls of festive heaven" - they look great, even before baking.
I may just have to try that recipe, Jemma - thank you!

Jackie said...

Your muffins look scrummy!! Will have to give them a try!! I usually only make/bake a Christmas cake!

happysnapper said...

These look yum I still have.mince pies in the freezer from Last year!

Lisa-Jane said...

What a timely post! I still have some mincemeat and we have a spare day tomorrow so I guess we will be making these! Great idea.

Sarah said...

These do look yummy! I love baking especially festive treats so will have a go at these as they will make a nice change from mince pies! x

Sandie said...

I love muffins, thanks for this new idea for recipe!

KraftyKaren said...

These look absolutely scrummy. I bake lots of mince pies for people at Christmas and using tuna tins (well washed out LOL) I make mini dundee cakes as gifts. In the past I have made boozy chocolate truffles and baby victoria sponges. This year I might make cookies for everyone using my gran's recipe.

Julie H said...

I'm not a big fan of dried fruit myself (makes the Christmas pudding/cake/mince pies not so exciting!) but your muffins look like they would be yum for the rest of the population!

scrappymo! said...

What a great idea. DH has been hinting a bran muffins soon as I think i can stand long enough to bake again...maybe I'll bake these too.
Always fun to have a few choices in the freezer!

Margie said...

There's nothing like a cup of hot choclate after a cold winter's walk....

Maria Ontiveros said...

I love baking at Christmas time, but I don't usually gift things. Thanks for the tips,
Rinda

AnnieC said...

Yum! Got to be less naughty than the pastry version too ... these would be nice to take in to work over the Christmas week. I like to make Sloe Gin and chutneys as gifts and this year I've had my first go at a Rumtopf - we're looking forwrad to trying that on Christmas day for pudding :o)

Abi said...

mmmh. Tasty! It is only my mum and me who eat mince pies in our house so she will often make lots of pastry and fill the rest with homemade jam! We also love chocolate bread and butter pudding to come back to!

Alison said...

I DO like the look of these Jemma..think I'll be trying them!
Alison xx

Karen said...

These sound delicious, and I'm not a fan of frosting either!

dollysdreamings said...

I have to be one of the wrold's worst cooks but I do make an effort at Christmas. I baked my Christmas cake last weekend and Debbie's book is on my Christmas list

Missus Wookie said...

I do indeed bake christmas presents - making puddings to give away, mince pies are a firm favourite with Wookie so they get made too - mincemeat muffins sound like something he'd approve of so shall try those. I don't like any of the dried fruit things so we also have cherry pies and almond cake. Princess added them to the list of Advent things to do yesterday :)

Zahra said...

Definitely look yummy! Although we're a frosting friendly house ;)

Sally said...

Oh they look delicious. It has become a tradition to make sweets with the children as gifts for the teachers. We have a lovely Sunday afternoon and the teachers get something a bit more personal than Quality Street!

alexa said...

These look so delicious - I can almost smell them from here! After a walk? Cinnamon toast or spiced bread (and a big mug of tea!).

dogmatix said...

Never thought of mincemeat in muffins. They sound nice although I am a bit worried I would be cheating on my beloved mince pies :-) I will be trying them out though (or possibly passing the recipe onto my brother in law to make for me ;-).)

Jo said...

They look delicious

Craftgirl83 said...

I bake various kinds of cookies for Christmas, they make good gifts (though I always end up eating more of them than giving away ;) ) Nothing beats cookies and a mug of hot tea after a walk in the snow!

Susan said...

Thanks for the recipe, they look delicious and I love a good muffin with a delicious cup of coffee in the mornings.

Melissa said...

I do a good bit of baking during the holidays, mostly to share at various gatherings.

Candace said...

Look lovely but I'm afraid I'm not with you when it comes to icing, the more the better

Thanks for the chance to win