Riley decided a few years ago that he wanted to bring muffins to school EVERY day for his snack. (I think because he liked the super-cool little cupcake/muffin container he had to bring them in.) Since I knew I wouldn’t have time to make muffins every night I decided to do “Muffin Making Madness” days and bake a bunch of different flavors to freeze. Then each day Riley can pop a frozen muffin into his cupcake/muffin holder and it’s thawed by snack time. We went through a lot of trial and error (and even created a Muffin Making Madness Cookbook for our Christmas presents that year!) and below are some tips that you will find useful if you want to do some Muffin Making Madness days of your own. (=
Muffin Tips and Tricks
Freezing muffins works great! After your muffins cool, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap and then put them in a Tupperware container in your freezer. When you pull a muffin out of the freezer you can pop it into the microwave for 20 seconds or so to thaw it quickly (be sure to unwrap it first!), or you can unwrap it and let it sit out for a couple of hours to thaw. Each night before he goes to bed Riley gets out a muffin, unwraps it and puts it in his little muffin container (along with a Hershey’s kiss and a napkin). He said they taste great at snack time in school the next day.
In berry muffins you can often substitute whole wheat pastry flour for half of the flour called for. But, don’t try this with the banana or more dessert-like muffins, it doesn’t taste as good in them.
You can substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil in most recipes. It makes them healthier, and you really can’t tell the difference.
If you want to freeze your muffins, be sure to make them easy to remove later. Line your pans with paper muffin cups AND also spray them with Pam. We really like the Pam Baking Spray with flour.
And, speaking of paper muffin cups…. Some of those ones with lots of colored dye in them (you know the really cute designed ones) actually make your muffins taste kind of like dye. We prefer plain old white paper muffin cups.
Rather than tipping your muffins out of the pans upside down, use a butter knife to help remove them. They won’t get as squished, and you won’t lose as much of your awesome crumble toppings then.
Speaking of crumble….
We have found that the really great muffins have some sort of crumble topping. It adds a lot to a muffin!
When you make a crumble topped muffin make your topping first! Use your mixing bowl to do it, then dump it into a little bowl and set it aside while you mix up the muffins.
Use cold butter when you make your crumble topping, and do not set your crumble topping on top of the stove, or anywhere else too warm, when you set it aside.
Here’s a pic of what our freezer usually looks like. You’ll also notice we have some frozen mini-cookies for lunches — and whenever our yogurt is getting close to its expiration date we stir in some honey, vanilla and frozen fruit, and freeze it in little containers for the kiddos to have as treats. (=
If you like Muffins, you might want to check these links too. (=