There is a flip side to the pan: flip the pan over and you can create edible bowls to serve your meals in. For instance

There is a flip side to the pan: flip the pan over and you can create edible bowls to serve your meals in. For instance

Bakeware staple pulls double-duty

What do you use your muffin pans for? If you are like me, they’re probably reserved for breakfast muffins, classroom birthday cupcakes or savoury appetizers for cocktail parties. A while back, my daughter discovered an Internet site that had pictures of all the things you can make with a muffin pan. After going through it, I came to the realization that there are so many possibilities!

What do you use your muffin pans for?

If you are like me, they’re probably reserved for breakfast muffins, classroom birthday cupcakes or savoury appetizers for cocktail parties.

A while back, my daughter discovered an Internet site that had pictures of all the things you can make with a muffin pan. After going through it, I came to the realization that there are so many possibilities! This bakeware staple can do double duty, and the old pan sitting idly between baking sessions can really be quite a versatile kitchen tool.

There are so many meals that can be prepared in the muffin pan. Beginning with breakfast, bypassing the fruit-studded muffin, you can make pancakes by pouring batter into greased pan and baking until the pancake looks light and fluffy.

French toast can be prepared by cutting bread into cubes and soaking into tradition egg milk mixture to create a bread pudding like French toast.

For the egg and bacon lover, there is the nested eggs — bread is moulded into the pan and a sunny side egg is cooked right inside.

For lunch, although you can make savoury biscuits and breads, unfortunately I haven’t discovered how to make the sandwich — at least not yet! But a little deep-dish pizza or a macaroni pie have never made a return trip back in school lunches.

Homemade pizza dough or store-bought biscuit dough acts as crust in the pan, and then topped with whatever choice of toppings.

Mac and cheese baked in pan makes a fun approach to the traditional recipe — you can eat it like a muffin, with your fingers!

Besides the deep-dish pizza for supper, you can easily make meat loaf, chicken pot pie and spaghetti in the pan.

Instead of cooking meat in a loaf pan, you divide it into the muffin tin.

For pies with a crust, like chicken pot or apple pie, just roll out the crust, cut out a four-inch circle, and place into pan. Add your fillings, top with lattice strips of crust and bake. My family really enjoys this because there is more crust to filling ratio.

For moulding cooked pasta into the tins, add egg, a little bit of tomato sauce, cheese and bake; serve your individual pasta with desired sauce.

There is also a flip side to the pan too — I mean really. Flip the pan over and you can create edible bowls to serve your meals in.

Remember the infomercial that sells a pan that can turn a soft taco into taco bowl? Hopefully, you didn’t waste your money because you all you do is turn the muffin tin upside down, spray the pan with cooking spray, nestle a few small — around six-inch — tortillas in the spaces between the cups of your upside-down muffin tin, bake at 375C and … voila! In 10 minutes, a taco bowl is formed.

You can also create an edible bowl out of cookie dough. Make a batch of cookie dough, turn and press the dough around the individual muffin wells. The bowls formed are just the right size for a few scoops of ice cream or a dollop of pudding. Just be careful that you choose a recipe where the cookie does not spread too much, otherwise you will have thin, leaky bowl.

Why would you use the hard-to-clean muffin pan?

Well, there is a range of perks when preparing recipes in your muffin tin. It allows for built-in portion control and it is also easy to store individual “muffins” for future meals. They also make it easy for transportation for potlucks and great for on-the go lunches.

The best thing about cooking in muffin trays is that they can slash cooking time — same concept as why it takes less time to bake cupcakes than a whole cake. For most of us who are time pressed, it is a great way to bring the meal to the table faster.

Here are some of my family favourite muffin tin recipes.

Baker’s dozen eggs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

12 slices whole wheat bread, extra-thin

1/2 pound prosciutto or Serrano ham, thinly sliced

12 medium eggs

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream

Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish

1/2 cup Parmesan grated, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Press each slice of bread, buttered side up, gently into the bottom of a muffin cup. Transfer to oven and bake for three minutes. Gently press ham into each bread cup. Carefully, crack one egg on top of ham. Repeat process until all bread cups are filled. Season each with salt and pepper; top with 1/2 teaspoon cream. Carefully transfer muffin tin to oven and bake eggs until whites are just set, 10 to 15 minutes. Using an offset spatula, remove bread cups from muffin tin and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with chives and cheese; serve immediately.

Deep dish mini pizza

The ingredients can be as simple or as complex as you like. Feel free to customize them to your family’s tastes.

1 10-count package of refrigerated biscuits

1/2 cup pizza or pasta sauce

various meats and veggies for toppings (cut into small pieces)

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Lightly grease a regular muffin tin with cooking spray. Press one biscuit into each muffin cup. Add 1 tablespoon of sauce to the bottom of each biscuit. Add whatever toppings you like. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Bake at 400F for approximately 12 minutes — or until biscuits are golden brown.

Mac and cheese muffins

Water

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup, shredded American cheese

1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

salt & pepper, to taste

Cooking spray

Bring water, salt and oil to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, melted butter and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in three-quarters of the cheddar cheese and all of the American; add the pasta and mix well. Spray a muffin tin liberally with cooking spray and add 2 tablespoons of the pasta mixture. Top each muffin cup with remaining cheese and sprinkle with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of breadcrumbs. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool about two to five minutes and they should pop right out.

Apple pie

2 pie crusts, homemade or store bought

5 medium apples (peeled and chopped up into small pieces)

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

6 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter (chilled)

Cut 12, four-inch circles with cup or bowl. You can use the rest of the crust for anything you may want to do on top of the pies. Press each circle in muffin tins until all the way up each side, to form little bowls. Mix all filling ingredients and spoon into muffin bowls. Cut up butter into 12 little pieces and place one piece on each pie. You can decorate them anyway you like with extra crust, or just leave plain. Bake at 425F for 16 to 18 minutes. (Until crust is light brown and apples are bubbling). Remove when cool.

Madhu Badoni is a Red Deer-based freelance food writer. She can be reached at madhubadoni@gmail.com or on Twitter @madhubadoni. Watch for Madhu’s Masala-Mix blog on bprda.wpengine.com.

Just Posted

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Alberta could receive 76,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine next week

Alberta should be getting a large shipment of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine… Continue reading

An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a café in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
RCMP investigating online threats made against officers who were at central Alberta protest

Online images purportedly showing officers attending weekend rally at Mirror in rifle crosshairs

Bowden Institution Black Press file photo
Bowden Institution inmate dies from COVID-19 complications

Bowden death the sixth in Canada’s federal prison system

(Contributed)
FOUND: Police locate Red Deer missing youth

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Adam Feller reacts as he gets his Pfizer-BioNTech shot at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Montreal. Quebec has become the latest province to stop giving Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as a first dose.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Ontario keeps stay-at-home order; Quebec pauses Oxford-AstraZeneca shots

Ontario has announced it’s keeping its stay-at-home order in place until at… Continue reading

The flag of the Supreme Court of Canada flies outside the building following a ceremony in Ottawa, Monday March 15, 2021. The owners of a horse that was disqualified after initially winning the Canadian Derby more than three years ago might have run out of legal room to reclaim the title. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from horse owners over derby dispute

OTTAWA — The owners of a horse that was disqualified after initially… Continue reading

People take part in a protest called 'Justice for Joyce' in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, where they demanded justice for Joyce Echaquan and an end to systemic racism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec coroner’s inquest into death of Joyce Echaquan begins as her family testifies

MONTREAL — The husband of an Indigenous woman who was subjected to… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, centre, speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec tables revamp of French-language law, toughens rules for businesses, schools

MONTREAL — The Quebec government reasserted the right of Quebecers to live… Continue reading

Permanent residency
Canada announces new pathway to permanent residency for families of crash victims

Ottawa is launching a new policy to help the families of victims… Continue reading

Co-founders Craig (left) and Marc Kielburger introduce Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau as they appear at the WE Day celebrations in Ottawa on November 10, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ethics watchdog: PM didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, but Morneau did

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not breach the Conflict of… Continue reading

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, center, celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew with teammates from left, forward Tsubasa Endoh, defender Omar Gonzalez and forward Patrick Mullins during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Bradley, Altidore scores in Toronto FC’s 2-0 win over Crew

ORLANDO, Fla (AP) — Michael Bradley had a goal and an assist,… Continue reading

A football with the CFL logo sits on a chair during a press conference in Winnipeg, Friday, November 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Former defensive lineman Klassen tackling retirement as he did opposing quarterbacks

Klassen spent seven CFL seasons with Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa

Most Read