Christmas Magic Mince Pie Muffins

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Okay, I’m gonna admit two things here. Number one – I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. It is, hands down, my FAVOURITE time of year. I just think it’s totally magical, and I feel like I’m a little kid again for the entire Christmas holidays. So BRING IT ON! I do have some exams to get past first for my Masters, but come midday December 19th, I will be in full-on Christmas-tastic mode until 2019 arrives. Number two thing I have to admit – I don’t like mince pies. There, I said it. They’re a bit like Marmite I guess – I’m also a bit ashamed to say that until probably 3 years ago I did genuinely think that they contained mince – as in beef mince…

Don’t judge! It was before my baking days. So this year, I’ve been on a BIG fig and date vibe – in snacks, oats, savoury dishes, you name it! I decided to try my hand at a mince muffin instead of the pie vibe, and spice it up with lots of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The result? A winner. Let’s get baking!

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Recipe (Makes 12 Muffins)

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey (or sub maple syrup or agave)
  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 50ml of milk of choice (I use Alpro)
  • 180g of oats, ground into flour
  • 2 palmfuls of chopped mixed nuts (I love using hazelnuts, almonds and pecans)
  • 1 handful of dried berries or raisins
  • 8-10 dates (soak in boiled water for 5 minutes first and then chop up into quarters)
  • 8 dried figs (diced into quarters)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C (fan oven). Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or grease it with a little olive oil.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl – oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and ginger.
  3. Using a food processor or power blender (I use my Nutribullet), blend the bananas, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla extract and honey.
  4. Pour two thirds of the wet mixture into your dry ingredients, and stir until you have a batter consistency. Add a little bit extra of the wet mixture at a time, stirring again after each, until it’s all in there.
  5. Next, add your mixed nuts, dates, and berries/raisins, and save 3 figs aside, adding the rest in. Mix the dried fruit and nuts into the batter.
  6. Spoon out the batter into your muffin tray sections, and fill each about two thirds full.
  7. Place a little quarter of a fig on top of your muffins, and then pop them in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes. At 25 minutes, insert a toothpick into the centre of one of the muffins – if it comes out clean, you’re good to go!

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Enjoy guys! What a fun and festive recipe to try out this month – tag if you do! I’m @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!

Ciara 🙂 x

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