I always used to think hot cross buns were difficult to make, and avoided baking them for years. When I finally gave them a try one Easter, I realized they are really easy to make. They will keep for about four days in an airtight container but if they do go a little hard, toast them and spread with ample amounts of butter.
While walking on the beach with my friend Judith Anne, I was discussing my recipe of the month for our website and that I hadn’t decided on one that would suit the Easter holidays. She said, "Hot cross buns!" and before we knew it, the recipe was developed, a quick and easy muffin with golden raisins and cranberries. When I got home, I put together these muffins, which are similar in flavor to the traditional yeast bun, but less time-consuming to make. The muffins are moist and keep well.
Honoring their religious roots, the Irish would bake hot cross buns during Lent and serve them on Good Friday. Lore further states that some would hang hot cross buns from their kitchen ceilings to ward off evil spirits for the year and that they associated the baked goods with healing properties, especially with strengthening relationships.