Muffin pans are work horses, both inside and out of the kitchen. Aside from the obvious muffins and cupcakes, they can be used in so many creative ways. I recently read a magazine article that suggested using muffin tins as centerpieces for a table, putting candles and ornaments in alternating cavities to create something familiar yet special. I loved the idea, and it really got me thinking about all the ways I use my muffin pans.
In the kitchen…
- I mix up a frittata using whatever vegetables I have on hand. The eggs and veggies get poured into standard sized muffin cups, which makes portion control a breeze. After eating one or two, I freeze the rest to have on hand for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast in no time.
- Meatloaf is another great muffin tin recipe. I mix up my ground meat, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, and pat the mixture into muffin cups. Because there is more even heat distribution from each cup, these mini meatloaves bake much faster than a traditional meatloaf – perfect for weeknight dinners.
- There are lots of great finger food recipes that utilize muffin pans. Chicken Italiano Cups look fancy and have tons of flavor.
- Use any size muffin cup to mold gelatin. To unmold the set gelatin, dip the bottom of the muffin pan in warm water for 10 seconds to loosen it. Invert the muffin pan onto a sheet tray. If the gelatin doesn’t unmold, use a butter knife to loosen the edge – it will slide right out. Serve it with Vanilla Whipped Icing for a special treat. I finished this one with a Premade Red Icing Rose. The icing leaf adds a little splash of color – look for this icing decoration at Wilton retailers this spring. It’s brand new!
- Speaking of flowers, I keep an extra set of muffin tins – one mini, one standard, and one jumbo that I don’t bake in at all. They are exclusively reserved for storing and transporting delicate royal icing flowers. Dried flowers can be stacked in between sheets of wax paper, or right on Icing Flower Squares. The different cavity sizes ensure that flowers fit perfectly, and won’t rattle around in transit when I’m delivering a wedding cake.
- Even cupcakes can get creative! Use a jumbo muffin pan to make Lemon Burst Mini Cakes. Cutting off the top and turning it upside down gives a normal cupcake a quick makeover.
Outside of the kitchen…
- Standard sized muffin tins can organize a messy desk drawer. Loose paper clips, rubber bands, and spare keys are contained very neatly.
- I keep my jewelry in mini muffin tins. My earrings, necklaces, and rings each get a private compartment, and nothing gets tangled.
These are definitely can-do pans, but this is just my little list. What kinds of interesting things do you do with your muffin pans?