I bake a lot of muffins.  They are such handy, delicious little packages to deliver nutrients to my kiddos.  2016-08-04-16-44-00You can sneak all kinds of stuff into muffins that your kids will not normally eat: zucchini, wheat germ, etc (this works for adults too!)  They go easily in lunchboxes, they are good breakfast foods, they use up ingredients that may beyond their raw prime (I’m looking at you, brown bananas!), and they are so easy to make!  On a normal week, I generally bake between 2-3 dozen muffins for my family, if it’s my turn for snacks or I’m hosting a lot of coffee dates, it can be twice that number!!

Here is what I’ve learned in my time making muffins.  Please feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you have any more questions about muffing baking!

Falling Day’s Tips for Excellent Muffins

    • This is the ultimate newbie baker tip: When making muffins, or baking anything, you can’t just dump all the ingredients into the bowl, stir then bake.  Baking is a chemical process and certain ingredients have to be added to each other at certain times to get it right.  Follow your recipe!
    • Always read through a new or not-often used recipe before you start.  You don’t want to be surprised to know you needed to chop 5 apples when you’re 1/2 through making a recipe.  It’s not only a pain, but can ruin your final product.  When some things are mixed together (like baking soda to any wet ingredients) your time is limited in when you need to get that baby into the oven!
    • I really like using a recipe stand.  I need to be able to just quickly glance at it to see where I’m at and what I’m doing and I don’t like to have to wash my hands or leave my baking to do it.

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      My recipe stand
    • Consider using the  Mis en place method.  This means you prepare all your ingredients bowls prior to beginning to follow your recipe.  Ever wonder why many baking bowl sets come with 20 tiny little bowls?  This is why.  I wouldn’t say I use this method all the time, but I do incorporate some of it into most of my baking.
    • Be accurate in your measurements.  Proper bakers will skim excess flour off their measuring spoon with a knife to make sure they have exactly 1 cup of it.  Who am I kidding, proper bakers will weigh their flour on a little scale, instead of relying on “cups” and “tablespoons”
    • Which reminds me, a tablespoons don’t come from your cutlery drawer, it’s an actual measuring device.  You need a set of measuring spoons, and dry & wet measuring cups.

 

Measuring spoons

 

 

Use something like this for dry ingredients.

Use this kind of measuring cup for wet ingredients.

 

 

 

Spatulas are good for folding, mixing, scraping and icing!

 

  • I also recommend a good wooden spoon and spatula.  You probably will use a tablespoon out of your cutlery drawer (but not for measuring!) as well.

 

Every kitchen should have a few wooden spoons!

 

  • When baking muffins, unless your recipe specifically tells you otherwise, you mix the dry and wet ingredients separately; then you combine both mixtures, usually wet to dry.
  • Do not overmix!  Once you have mixed the wet to dry ingredients, you only keep mixing until everything is wet, usually about 5 turns.  The batter should be lumpyYou should never mix the wet and dry ingredients together with an electric mixer, use your spatula or wooden spoon!
  • I like to flour my fruits.  If I’m putting raw (or sometimes dried fruits) into a muffin, I very lightly dust them with flour prior to folding them into the batter.  This helps them not to leak their juices all over the muffin and risk making them mushy.  Just be careful not to overflour them.2016-09-12-14-09-00
  • Kids love to bake, especially muffins!  Don’t worry overmuch about sticking to these tips when you have little hands helping.  Kids will be happier to eat anything they helped make, even if the consistency isn’t perfect in the end.  Let them do their best, and forget the rest!
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    My chief assistant!

     

Check out some of my muffin recipes!

Falling Day’s Muffin Recipes

 

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