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Includes: “How to Get Your Muffins Out of the Pan without Breaking”
I like bran muffins. We made several hundred of them and gave them to folks when they came in the store. We served them warm with butter and really good jam.
But we weren’t making plain muffins; we were exploring, adding goodies to our mix. You can do the same in your kitchen with a mix or your favorite recipe. Here’s how we did it:
Cinnamon Chip Bran Muffins. To a mix for 12 large high-domed muffins, we added a cup of cinnamon chips. They tasted great, no—they tasted fantastic! But as the chips melted, we got a little spread and overhang around the rims. We solved that problem; we cut the water back a quarter cup and made 15 muffins instead of twelve so the cups weren’t quite so full. Perfect!
Apple Cranberry Bran Muffins. To a mix for 12 large high-domed muffins, we added 3/4 cup diced apples and 3/4 cup dried cranberries plus a teaspoon of Vietnamese cinnamon, The cranberries overpowered the apples so we added a teaspoon of apple flavor to the next batch. Perfect. The Vietnamese cinnamon really added a nice touch.
Ginger Pear Bran Muffins. Pears have such a mild flavor; it’s hard to get them to stand out. Instead we left them in the background, a nice sweet orchard taste, and let the candied ginger do the heavy lifting. We added 3/4 cup dried pears and 3/4 cup small diced candied ginger. These were outstanding.
Carrot Cake Bran Muffins. Great muffins. We used 3/4 cup grated carrots, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. They’re not sweet like a carrot cake. Don’t be tempted to add more sugar—you’ll upset the balance and the muffins will spread. Use a jam or jelly on top to make them sweeter.
Cranberry Nut Bran Muffins. These are my favorites—but then I like cranberries and I like nuts. Add 3/4 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
Pineapple Coconut Bran Muffins. These are the muffins that made Kelli the Baker’s husband a bran muffin convert. We drained crushed pineapple and used 3/4 cup well-drained pineapple plus 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut.
Candied Ginger Bran Muffins. These are the ginger pear muffins without the pears. We added 3/4 cup candied ginger. I like candied ginger in our baking.
Other muffins: We meant to experiment with ginger apple plus some pumpkin muffins—ginger pumpkin, pumpkin raisin, and pumpkin nut—but didn’t get that far.
We had about a hundred muffins left over. We put them in closed containers and saved them overnight. The tops were no longer crusty. We put them back in a warm oven, 250 degrees, for ten minutes and that dried the tops and made the muffins very good again.
How to Get Your Muffins Out of the Pan without Breaking
Ever have trouble getting your muffins out of the pan? You pull and the tops come off. Wasted muffins. You can buy a muffin top pan and make only the tops. Or you can follow the three suggestions below.
Suggestion #1: Use a great pan.
When we started this business, we had some name brand pans that were a heavy and dark. Perfect, except that they didn’t release worth a darn. We bought some professional grade muffin pans with a great, slick surface and most of the problem was solved. If you don’t have good pans, nothing else works.
Suggestion #2: Get a timer
When muffins are hot out of the oven, they’re soft and fragile. They’re easy to crush or tear apart. Set the timer and give your muffins a few minutes to set up. Four minutes is about right.
When I’m baking, I wear an Everywhere Timer around my neck. Then I can go where I want and do what I need without being tied to the kitchen. Setting the timer for another four minutes isn’t a big deal.
Suggestion #3: Get a soft bladed silicone spatula (Like the one pictured in the top)
This is my secret weapon. I use it all the time. The soft blade bends around the corner of bread pans and muffin pans to break free those sticky goodies. And it’ll never scratch your expensive bakeware.
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of “How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking” available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.