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  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin pan; or line the cups with papers, and grease the papers.

  2. To prepare the fruit: In a small bowl, pour the rum or water over the raisins and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or heat gently in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside to soak while you assemble the other ingredients.

  3. To make the muffins: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices. 

  5. Make a well in the center. Add the soaked raisins and additional dried fruit, or the candied fruit.

  6. In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup, beat together the milk and eggs. Stir in the melted butter and add, all at once, to the dry ingredients.

  7. Stir until everything is evenly combined.

  8. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups using a generous 1/4 cup for each muffin, mounding the batter in each well. (A rounded muffin scoop is about right here.)

  9. To bake the muffins: Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick or paring knife inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

  10. Remove the muffins from the oven and cool them on a rack while you prepare the frosting.

  11. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, mix the frosting ingredients until smooth. Add additional liquid as needed to make the frosting piping consistency.

  12. When the muffins are cool, pipe with a cross of frosting over the tops for a traditional hot cross bun look, or frost as desired.

  13. Storage information: Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature up to two days. For longer storage, freeze unfrosted muffins for up to a month. To reheat, thaw muffins and frost before serving.