Why is it that the most obvious things are the ones that we miss completely? Sometimes it is the very thing that's staring me right in the face that I just look right past. Like tearing the house apart looking for a pair of sunglasses that were on top of my head the entire time. (hehe) Kind of like looking for a perfect guy when all along, he was sitting right next to me - literally. --- I can still remember sitting in calculus class during my senior year of high school and wondering if I would ever find the perfect guy. All I had to do was look to my left. He was sitting quietly in the desk beside me all along - just waiting for me to notice him. I'm pretty sure that my obliviousness wasn't because I was so focused on my calculus assignments. (Sometimes it takes me longer to figure out the obvious than the obscure.)
I got that same "how did I ever miss that" feeling when I was scrolling through Pinterest last month. It was the most obvious idea in the world and yet somehow it had never occurred to me - freeze muffin batter in paper liners! Genius. Seriously, I've frozen literally thousands of muffins and freezing the batter in liners had never even crossed my mind.
All this time, I've been waking up at the crack of dawn to make muffin batter so that we could have freshly baked, warm muffins in the morning when it was completely unnecessary. I could have simply pulled the frozen batter out of the freezer, popped them in the oven and waited for the yummy goodness to bake. (What bothers me most about this whole situation is that I could have been sleeping in!)
I had some overripe bananas on the counter and in the past I would have baked some muffins or bread and wrapped and frozen it - cooked. Not anymore folks. Don't get me wrong - it's not that frozen muffins are bad - muffins actually freeze quite wonderfully. It's just that warm, right out of the oven muffins are hard to beat.
I whipped up a batch of my dark chocolate, raspberry, banana muffin batter as my test batch. (If you haven't tried this recipe - you NEED to.)
I scooped my batter into paper lined muffin tins and instead of baking them, I put them in the freezer. (Ok - so I did bake a couple of muffins to eat for breakfast but I didn't need to bake them all.)
After about 2 hours of freezing time, I pulled out the trays, popped out the liners and put them in a ziploc bag.
My unbaked muffins went right back in the freezer. A week or so later, the day arrived that I needed a couple dozen muffins, and I knew exactly where to turn. (And this time it wasn't my mixer.) I popped the liners back into the muffin pans and put them right into the oven. (My frozen muffins took an extra 5 minutes of baking time.)
When I pulled the muffins out of the oven it was just as I had hoped - perfection. There was very little difference between the muffins that I baked right away, and the ones that I had frozen. Just to prove my point, I am posting pictures of the frozen muffins...
and a batch that I had made and baked right away...
I am so excited about this new discovery. My only complaint is that a few of the muffins that had been frozen got wrinkled liners.
In my opinion, it's totally worth the extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning to deal with wrinkled liners. We may be having freshly baked muffins a lot more often now that I have a new trick up my sleeve.