Food & Drink

The mighty muffin: Go beyond the cupcake with these handy tins

Raspberry-White Chocolate Muffins for Everybody Eats food column on using muffin pans in North Liberty, Iowa, on Friday, April 5, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Raspberry-White Chocolate Muffins for Everybody Eats food column on using muffin pans in North Liberty, Iowa, on Friday, April 5, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

There was a time when muffin tins were my kitchen best friend.

It’s been well documented that I love breakfast foods, so, of course, I make muffins often, but I went through a big cupcake phase, too. I still remember walking the halls of my daughter’s elementary school with containers of cupcakes for her birthday. They were chocolate and vanilla, frosted to look like cheeseburgers. They took forever, and I questioned my sanity several times during the process, but the looks on the kids’ faces made it worth it. For a moment, I knew what it was like to be a rock star.

My cupcake-making days have dwindled as my children aged. No one in my house is a huge fan of cake — we’re more pie and cookie fans when it comes to baked treats — but as I sort through my collection of muffin tins, I knew I wasn’t ready to get rid of them. I don’t have plans to bake 99 mini cupcakes for a baby shower anytime soon — true story — but you never know.

When I say I have muffin tins, I’m not talking about the standard 12-cup tin. I have two of those, but I also have an extra-large tin that can bake 24 muffins, cupcakes or mini quiches at once. I also have a pair of mini muffin tins and an extra large one that can bake 48 minis at once. I also own one six-cup jumbo muffin pan.

I love the variety of sizes at my disposal, but even if I were to go on a baking spree, I probably don’t need as many tins as I currently own. I love the extra-large standard size and mini muffin tins, so I’ll keep those. To justify that decision, and the impulse that made me purchase them in the first place, I spent some time searching for muffin tin recipes beyond my culinary repertoire.

Let’s just say I’ve seriously underestimated the tins’ range. (Pun not intended.)

Muffin tins can be used to create foods suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as appetizers and desserts. There are entire cookbooks dedicated to the muffin tin, plus a plethora of recipes on Pinterest. I chose a few for this column that highlight the versatility in size and taste.

On a non-cooking note, muffin tins also make great organizers. I have a friend who designs earrings and necklaces, and she chooses to sort her beads in muffin tins. When my kids were younger, I used to place plastic cups in the tins to hold paint. I once attended a sundae bar party where the topping choices were sorted by tins.

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Hmm ... maybe I won’t get rid of my extra muffin tins. I’ll get back to you on that.

Recipe

RASPBERRY-WHITE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

1 egg

2 cups baking mix (like Bisquick)

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup white baking chips

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup raspberries

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups, or place paper baking cup in each muffin cup.

Beat egg slightly in medium bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except raspberries just until moistened. Gently stir in raspberries. Divide batter evenly among cups.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan.

Source: “Betty Crocker Bisquick to the Rescue: More than 100 Emergency Meals to Save the Day!” by Betty Crocker (Betty Crocker; Feb. 25, 2011)

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