Adapted from my Great Great Aunt Alice. My mom and my brother Nick considered them (the original recipe) cupcakes and ate them without frosting. To me they always seemed more like muffins! The original recipe uses coffee, so I thought I would try using tea and it was a brilliant move! Make sure you steep the tea for the full 10 minutes, to ensure strength of flavor--and if you do not have Bonfire Tea, I think a chai would substitute well.
Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 12-well muffin tins with silicone or paper cups. Lightly spray the cups and rims of the wells with oil. Set aside.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Place the water and spoiled milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it is almost simmering, add the tea leaves. Stir, bring to a simmer, and then turn the heat off to steep. let the tea leaves steep for 10 minutes.
While the tea is steeping, melt the butter and set aside to cool.
When the tea is done steeping, pour the milky tea through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and let it cool.
Whisk the butter with the brown sugar.
When the milky tea is cool enough to dip a finger into it without burning your finger, drizzle it into the butter-sugar mixture while whisking. Whisk to combine completely.
Add the eggs one at a time and whisk.
Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture. When it is almost completely combined, add the raisins and nuts. Combine completely but do not overmix.
Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. I like to use a large cookie scoop for this.
Bake for around 25 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into a center muffin comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached. If you do not have a convection oven, rotate front to back and top to bottom halfway through.
Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn the muffins out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
When the basis of this recipe was created, I think people often had spoiled milk in the kitchen. These days I am much more likely to have spoiled cream--so I used my spoiled cream with sweet milk and assumed that would be sufficient. It was.