Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Homemade Muffin Time & Money Saver

For years, I've always had store-bought muffin mixes on hand.  But over the past year I've been doing an increasing amount of cooking and baking from scratch. And I'm always on the lookout for tricks to offer convenience and savings alongside home-made goodness.

So I decided to try making my own muffin mixes.  Now, these don't turn into add-water-only recipes (though there may be a way to do that using powdered milk and eggs).  But by pre-measuring the dry ingredients and storing them in a jar, I save a bunch of steps when it comes time to making the muffins, and also ensure that I have everything on hand.  (Especially the chocolate chips, which somehow always vanish from the cupboard!)

Basically, you take your favourite recipe, measure all the dry ingredients and put them in a large mason jar or other container.

Prepping the chocolate chip banana mix

Close the container, and put a note on the outside listing the remaining ingredients to be added, and the oven temperature and recommended length of time for baking.

3 blueberry muffin and 3 chocolate chip banana mixes completed
Easy peasy!

This morning, I made up 6 jars of muffin mix.  It took me 20 minutes today, but that included clearing off the counter before I could get started, hunting down the camera to take some photos in the middle, refilling my flour and sugar bins afterwards, and washing all the measuring cups. Just the mix prep could be done in 10 minutes, and I often make up a mix or two when I have taken out the ingredients to make one batch on the spot.

  • Use a funnel to help fill the jars more easily.
  • Measure one ingredient at a time into each jar (eg: measure 2.5 cups of flour into each container, then move on to the next ingredient).
  • You may want to give the jar a good shake with the lid on to help mix up the salt, baking powder, etc so it's evenly mixed already when you go to use it. 
  • Once you've written out the instructions for finishing a recipe once, photocopy it or scan and print it for additional copies.
  • Look for recipes that don't have too many wet ingredients to add in order to complete the muffins.
Here is our favourite recipe, the Chocolate Chip banana one.  It has only 3 wet ingredients to add (mashed bananas, egg, and melted butter.  You can use oil instead to save the melting step):
From the Munster United Church cookbook, 2004