muffintinmommy

Cool & Creative Ways to Use Your Muffin Tins!

Taking a Break

Dear beloved MuffinTinMommy followers,

I will be taking a little blogging sabbatical. Sometimes everybody just needs a little break :)

During this time I hope to find lots of new and exciting muffin tin ideas to share with you all.

Until we meet again, keep on sharin the muffin tin love and trying new things.

If you find anything you’d like to share be sure to get in touch, I LOVE hearing your ideas!

<3 Pamela

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Pop Up Pancakes

We’ve been having breakfast for dinner quite a bit lately. The kids LOVE it and it’s fast and easy for me to whip up! I’ve discovered lots of different ways to make breakfast in a muffin tin, but we’ve done them all, so I went on a search for something new and came across this one! Pop Up Pancakes AKA German Pancakes by Marie Lebaron at Make and Takes.com

 

Don’t they look WONDERFUL?!! Here’s the recipe…

Pop Up Pancake Recipe – makes 24 muffins or fills a 9×13 baking pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • dash salt
  • Preheat oven to 400* and grease your muffin tins

 

Directions: (from Marie)

1. I like to mix all the ingredients in my blender. I have tried to whisk it or even use my small electric mixer, but a blender seems to do the best job getting it smooth.

2. Pour the mix into your greased muffin tins. Or your baking pan, as my mom likes to bake these in a jelly roll pan.

3. Bake them for 15 minutes in a 400* oven, or until puffy and golden on top. Use a knife to pop or pry them out, hopefully they were greased well enough and should pop right out. They puffiness will die down as they cool, and they become more like a cup.

Now they are ready for toppings. I love syrup, powdered sugar, and fruit. You could even use fresh Strawberry Jam. We usually load it all on and dive in. What do you use to top your pancakes with? Maybe peanut butter or honey?

How can you pass those up? Grab your muffin tins and pancake up! Be sure to tell me what you think, I can’t wait to try them myself! They’re sure to be a HUGE hit with the kids ;) Good luck!!

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Toss and Answer

I will leave you with one last Literacy game before we move on from this series and it’s called Toss and Answer, again from Jodie over at Growing Book By Book. If you haven’t checked her out yet please do so. She is an educator of 17 years with a very impressive resume but above all that she has a passion for Early Literacy! :)

Here is her post on the Toss and Answer game… enjoy!

This activity allows a little gross motor exercise while practicing some vocabulary words.  Developing a child’s vocabulary increases their reading and writing ability.  I’m a big fan of Isabel Beck’s work with vocabulary.  She talks about three tiers of words.  Tier 1 words are those concrete words we pick up pretty naturally such as table, chair, and dog.  Tier 3 words are specific to a subject area such as polygon and photosynthesis.  Tier 2 words are words that we see across multiple contexts and need to be specifically taught to children.  See the 12 examples above in the picture.

Materials Needed: 1 muffin tin, 12 small post-its or small paper slips, 1 marker, Tier 2 word list,  a soft object to toss into the tin

Select 12 vocabulary words (words should have already been introduced to the child) and write each on a post-it or small paper slip.  Place one word in each tin.  The child takes the soft ball and tosses it into the tin.  Whatever word it lands on is the word to utilize for that turn.  For round one have the child define the word in their kid language.  Memorizing dictionary definitions is useless.  In round two, the child can use the word in a creative sentence.  For round three, have the child name something that does not fit with the word.  For example, if the word was shy, the child could say a politician who walks up to strangers and talks to them is not shy.  It’s important for children to manipulate the word in many different formats so that the vocabulary word becomes more natural for them.

So, one muffin tin can provide numerous learning opportunities for your child.  Can you think of literacy uses for muffin tins?  I’d love for you to share your ideas.

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Match -a- Roo

Happy Monday everyone! As promised today I will share with you another fun & educational reading game from Jodie at Growing Book By Book!

This one is called Match-a-Roo and it requires that the child match an object with a word.

As you can see Jodie used colors and color words but you can use whatever you like depending on your child’s level. She even suggests matching Spanish words with their English equivalents! I wouldn’t have thought of that one! ;)

 

Materials Needed:

1 muffin tin

12 small post-its or small paper slips

1 marker

a variety of small colored objects (In the picture above, Jodie used removable colored dots, colored paper clips and marker caps.)

 

Here’s What You Do:

Place a colored object in each muffin tin.  Next, write each corresponding word on a post-it or other small paper slips.  The child then takes the words and places each in the correct tin.

 

That’s pretty simple right?! You can challenge your child in SO many ways with this activity. You’ll be glad you did when they’re SUPER KIDS and bringing home the A’s. Early literacy very important, especially now a days! Help your child get ahead by playing with them, play after all is the BEST way to learn :)

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Muffin Tin Sight Word Game

School is starting soon so why not give your little ones a head start?! Help your child recognize sight words with this fun muffin tin game! Photo and credit for this genius idea go to Jodie at Growing Book By Book.com :D I will be sharing more of her reading games in my next few posts to help you give your little readers a head start. There’s no better time than now to start cultivating a passion for reading!!

A little background on the subject :) … Dolch words, or sight words, provide an excellent base for reading at an early age. They are often called sight words because some of them can’t be sounded out, and need to be learned by sight. Here is a fun way to work with your young reader and start them down the path of literacy. This activity is great for Pre-K, K and even 1st graders.

Three in a Row (This game is played like tic tac toe.)

Materials Needed:

1 muffin tin

12 paper cupcake liners

1 marker

1 Dolch sight word list

A handful of place markers such as hard candy or cereal

On the bottom of each cupcake liner write a sight word.  Place each liner in a muffin tin cup.  You are ready to play!  One person calls out a word.  The other person takes a place marker and puts it in the correct cup.  When three in a row is achieved, you have a winner.

Simple, learning, fun! What are you going to do with your muffin tin today? :)

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Lasagna Pasta Pies

Looking for something fun and different to make for dinner? Try these! Lasagna Pasta Pies from Pillsbury.

Lasagna Pasta Pies

*Note, for this recipe you will need a Jumbo muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked rotini pasta
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, in skillet, cook Italian sausage until no longer pink; drain. Stir in pasta sauce, ricotta cheese and pasta; cook 1 minute.
2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; press each biscuit to 5 1/2-inch round. Firmly press 1 biscuit in bottom and up side of each of 8 ungreased jumbo muffin cups, forming 1/4-inch rim. Fill with sausage mixture; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
3. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.
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*Visit Pillsbury.com for reviews on the recipe! One reader didn’t have a jumbo muffin tin so she used her regular sized one and said they turned out just fine, another said they were awesome but needed a little more sauce. :) Don’t forget recipes are just guidelines, make it your own with whatever and however it works for you!!
Pretty straight forward right?! Super easy and they look scrumptious! So give ‘em a whirl and let me know what you think! Besides most anything you make in a muffin tin is ALWAYS a huge hit, you can’t lose! ;)
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Muffin Tin Printmaking

We haven’t had a craft on mtm for a while so here ya go art lovers!! :D

 

How about some muffin tin printmaking? Super easy, super fun and you’ll treasure it forever <3

*Photo courtesy of Jen at paint cut paste* :)

http://paintcutpaste.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/DSC_0963.jpg

All you need is a muffin tin or two ( I have special ones just for arts & crafts… not used for cooking)

Your favorite paint colors (Acrylics work well)

Paper (size doesn’t matter, lol)

And your favorite little artist!

I found this fun project on paint cut paste. She also does more printmaking with other things you can find in your kitchen like pie pans and plates. Check it out!

To begin you may want to paint proof your area and smock the artists ;) Throw down a paint cloth or some news papers or just take it outside!

After that, grab your muffin tin and paints. Put a dollop of paint on the back side of each cup. You can arrange the colors to make a pattern or just add random colors, it’s art so get creative!

 

Next just use your fingers (or Q-tips) to draw designs in the paint. It can be simple things like hearts, suns, moons, flowers, leaves, waves, spirals, etc. let your artist decide :)

 

And finally press onto a sheet of paper.

 

And that is all there is to it! Let them dry and display them for your company :) They are quite charming and your little artist will be so proud!!

Just another way to enjoy those muffin tins in a cool and unusual way ;) Have fun!!

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Bacon Cups

Howdy Folks! Did you miss me? I’ve been a little under the weather lately and just couldn’t make it to my lap top to post. It was ridiculous and I was beyond miserable. In fact I am still buried up to my nose in tissues but I figured enough was enough… it’s time to get back to the blog!!  ;)

So how do you all feel about bacon? I have recently discovered that there are some serious bacon lovers out there. I can’t believe some of the things people do with bacon. Did you know that someone even invented bacon flavored chewing gum?!! I wouldn’t go that far but I do love a good BLT and always enjoy trying something new :)

So today I have for you a way to go breadless with your BLT in a muffin tin! You can also make bacon nest salads with this cool bacon trick! I first came across THIS picture on Pinterest… of a Bacon Nest Salad from lil sugar.com.

Bacon Nest Salads

It looked delish but I couldn’t find a recipe to go with it so I had to do a little digging and came up with THIS from Megan at  not martha. Love her stuff you should check it out :)

Here’s how she does it!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the back of a jumbo muffin tin with foil and weave bacon strips around the backs. Be generous with the bacon — it will shrink and leave gaps in your cups. Set the pan in a cookie sheet with a rim to catch the dripping fat. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crispy, checking occasionally for oven fires. Wait for it to cool before removing the foil and shaped bacon, then carefully transfer bacon cups to a paper towel-lined plate. Fill with your favorite type of lettuce, tomatoes and a mayo-based salad dressing to really fill out the BLT. You can really get creative with the dressing and even your greens so go ahead and explore!

NOTE: Megan says this about using cooking spray… “I did not coat with cooking spray, it would have been easier to remove but I suspect that the bacon would not have held the form as well if the foil was oiled and would have popped apart half way through cooking. On the other hand some bacon did break when I was peeling away the foil.”

You may notice that there are 2 different types of cups or baskets pictured. You REALLY must click over to her blog not martha to see all of the pics and what she uses to make them. You can pretty much use any type of muffin tin depending on what shape you are going for.

For the bacon lovers of the world there’s no shortage of bacon cooking ideas on the internet, but I found that I personally LOVE the idea of weaving it into baskets or nests. You can put a salad in one of those little bacony nests, fill them with Swedish pancakes and douse it all in syrup, you could even dip them in chocolate and serve ice cream inside!! The possibilities are endless! As for me I will stick to the BLT or salad nests ;) But I hope you are inspired to try something new. Be it with your muffin tins or bacon or both!

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Froot Loop Cheesecake Cookie Cups

This was something unusual I found on Pinterest this morning so I thought, lets post it! I have seen Froot Loop “rice crispy” treats before and Froot Loop bracelet/necklace snacks but this is a first! :)

Froot Loop Cheesecake Cookie Cups! Say what? Yup you’ve just got to see them!

Froot Loop Cookie Cups

Well that’s different! Wonder how they’re made? Well here ya go!

This recipe comes from Amanda at A Few Short Cuts. The perfect treat for a special day she calls “Snack”urday! Ha ha genius :D

Froot Loop Cheesecake Cookie Cups
Ingredients
  • 1 tube (18 oz.) of Refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • (2) 1/2 cups of Fruit Loops
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 unsweetend packet of Kool-Aid (I used Strawberry Kiwi)
  • 2 cups of Marshmallow Creme
  • 8 oz. Whipped Topping
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place 2 cups of Fruit Loops in a zip-top bag and roll then into crumbs using a rolling pin.
  3. Place cookie dough into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 -3/4 cup Fruit Loop crumbs. Mix together until well-blended.
  4. Scoop cookie dough into a greased muffin tin, evenly dividing the dough between all 12 cups. Press into cup shapes against the pan.
  5. Bake cookie dough at 350 degrees for 12 minutes (or until browned around edges).
  6. Remove from oven and allow cookies to sit in pan and firm up for about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Run a small knife around the edges of each cup before popping it out and putting it on a plate.
  8. Chill cups until they are no longer warm to the touch (about 10 minutes)
Filling
  1. Cream together cream cheese and Kool-Aid until completely blended.
  2. Add Marshmallow Creme and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add 1 cup of Cool Whip and mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Place filling in a large zip-top bag and clip a corner.
  5. Pipe filling evenly into each cookie cup.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining crushed froot loops.
  7. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or freeze until served.

Here is a quick photo tutorial :)

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Enjoy your “Snack”urday everyone! And remember the weekend is a perfect time to break out those muffin tins and make something cool! :D

 

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Brownie Bites

Today I have a special treat for you! THREE wonderful brownie bite recipes :D One each of healthy, low fat and decadent. Which will be your favorite?

Bring on the brownies yum-o! I’ll start you out with the healthy one and work down from there, lol!

This one comes from lil sugar.com in an article called Do You Know the Muffin Man? 5 Meals to Make in a Muffin Tin. There are a few more recipes over there if you want to go check them out :D

They write this about the brownie bites…

Pureed sweet potato provides these party-size brownies with moisture, earthy sweetness, and a fudgelike consistency. Not to mention it makes them a little more guilt-free if you happen to sneak a few extra. Warning — they’re habit-forming!

Say no more! You had me at BROWNIES ;)

Sweet Potato Brownie Bites

Ingredients: (Makes 24 mini muffins)

1/2 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar or other granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

Directions:

Steam, boil, or roast the sweet potato until very tender, transfer to a large bowl, and mash with the butter.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the egg, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, and ginger, if using, to the potato mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon. In a second large bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Stir the sugar and potato mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until no dry parts are visible. Divide the mixture among 24 mini muffin cups. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before unmolding.

To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and maple syrup with a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread on top of the brownies and sprinkle with cocoa nibs.

Note: This recipe is vegetarian and can be frozen for later!

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Now as if that wasn’t good enough, here’s another recipe (without the sweet potato for those of you who went Eeeeww, earlier, lol)!

http://cdn.babble.com/family-kitchen/files/2010/06/One-Bite-Brownies.jpg

(Low Fat) Two Bite Brownies

By Julievr at The Family Kitchen

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. instant espresso or coffee, dissolved in 1 tsp. water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs, vanilla and coffee and stir until well blended and smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and stir by hand just until combined.

Spoon the batter mini muffin cups that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until puffed but still soft to the touch. Do not overbake! Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Makes 24 brownies.

Per brownie: 85 calories, 2.3 g total fat (1.3 g saturated fat, 0.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 1.5 g protein, 15.5 g carbohydrate, 14.2 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber. 23% calories from fat

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And now for those of us who just don’t care if it’s healthy or low fat… the pièce de résistance!!

CHEESECAKE BROWNIE BITES!!!!

Cheesecake Brownie Bites

I know it’s almost too much to maintain your composure… are you tearing up? It’s ok, yes, I know they are beautiful ;)  so I will save the chatter and give you the goods! But I will say go to Kelly’s site Just A Taste  to see the AWESOME pics that go along with this post… they are a step by step visual demonstration on how to make these dreamy little wonders <3

Cheesecake Brownie Bites (from Kelly at Just A Taste)

Yield: About 30 brownie bites

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 12 min

Ingredients:

For the brownie batter:
4 large eggs
1¼ cups baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder, mixed with 2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2¼ cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1½ cups all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake filling:
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, baking cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso mixed with water, and vanilla until well combined.

Stir in the sugar and melted butter until well combined, then stir in the flour. (A firm rubber spatula works best.) Set brownie batter aside.

In a separate bowl, prepare the cheesecake filling by stirring together the cream cheese, sugar and egg yolk until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag or plastic bag.

Grease a non-stick mini-muffin pan with cooking spray or butter and then spoon a tablespoon of brownie batter into the greased cups. Pipe a generous amount of cheesecake filling atop the brownie batter, and then top off each cup with an additional teaspoon of brownie batter.

Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let the brownie bites cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a cooling rack to continue cooling, or enjoy warm.

Kelly’s Notes:

When measuring flour, never scoop the cup into the flour, as it condenses the flour and causes you to use more than the recipe intends. Instead, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it with a knife. The same technique applies for cocoa powder.

A mini-ice cream scoop is an easy and efficient way to scoop the brownie batter into the prepared cups.

Feel free to swirl the cheesecake mixture with the brownie mixture once scooped into the muffin cups to create a marbled effect.

If the brownie bites aren’t easily releasing from the pan, use a sharp knife to cut around the edges to release them.

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And there you have it 3 excellent brownie bite recipes, something for everyone! Which one will you choose, or will you break down and make all 3?!

Don’t you just love all the fun things you can do with your muffin tin?!!! <3

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Camouflage Cupcake Sandwiches

Apparently this week is turning into a week of sweets, first the Peanut Butter Cups then the Cookie Bites and now Camo Cupcake Sandwiches, lol! Wonder what sweet treat I’ll find for tomorrow’s blog?!

Today’s post is a reader suggestion all the way from Arizona! Thanks for the idea Mrs. Brown from Mrs. Brown’s Bath Bakery!

Check these out folks! Having and ARMY MAN in my life I find them extra special :) Perfect for a kids birthday party or celebrating the special soldier in your life <3!

I have not given these a try yet but the word is that they are surprisingly easy to make! And not just in green/black/brown but you can make then in PINK too!! :D

The photos come from a wonderful blog called Chickabug. I absolutely love her presentation of this fun treat. But the Original recipe comes from Debbie at Life Is Sweets. Along with her recipe she shares a charming story of how these little cuties came about :) Thanks to both ladies for sharing these with us what a treat!!

Here is what you’ll need:

To make the sandwiches…

A french vanilla boxed cake mix (plus water, oil, and eggs as called for on box instructions)

A large mixing bowl

Four smaller separate bowls for mixing colors

Black, Kelly Green, and Brown gel dyes (For the pink Camo Sandwiches just use varying colors of pink gel dyes.)

A whoopie pie pan (or a muffin tin if you do not have a whoopie pie pan like me! I will go into more detail about how to modify, later)

Cooking spray

To make the Vanilla Buttercream Icing…

2 sticks of butter
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons half and half
Here are Debbie’s Instructions:
I used a french vanilla boxed cake and **split half of the batter into four equal parts in four separate bowls.  Put the other half of the batter aside.  I then dyed one of the four bowls black (using black gel dye), one army green (using kelly green gel mixed with some brown gel dye), brown (using brown gel), and, lastly, beige (using just a touch of brown gel added with a toothpick to control the amount added).
(Spray pan with cooking spray.) Next, I spooned very small amounts of each color at a time into a whoopie pie pan.  After filling each cavity, I baked them for 8 minutes on 350 degrees. (See how to do this in a muffin tin below.)
Remove each cake and let cool on a wire rack.  With the other half of the cake batter, I again separated it into four separate bowls and dyed them varying colors of pink.  I baked them the same way.  While the cakes were cooling I made the icing.

**As you can see she made 2 batches in two different colors, you do not need to split the batter in half if you are just making one type of camo colored sandwiches.

Now if you are using a muffin tin instead of a whoopie pie pan spray pan with cooking spray and fill each muffin cup about half full with batter and bake at 35o until done (depends on your oven as to how long that will take, just keep a close eye on them and start with 10 minutes and work your way up if you need to). Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool… then cut tops off each cupcake horizontally (save bottoms for another use or eat them all up, the kids will love that job!) Assemble sandwich style with the buttercream icing. For more of a visual reference go to Bettey Crocker’s Cupcake Poppers Video. Those are being made in a mini muffin tin so disregard the amount of batter used but it’s a good reference to see how full the muffin cups are and how to cut the tops off ;)

Here’s how to make the Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

Using a mixer, beat butter until it is fluffy.  Add 3 cups of sugar – one cup at a time – mixing until it’s completely incorporated.  Add vanilla and half and half along with last cup of sugar and mix, adding more half and half until the icing is the desired consistency.

For the army Camo cakes dye the icing light army green (a small amount of both Kelly Green gel and Brown gel dye).

For the pink Camo cakes ice with pink buttercream.

I know this one was a little outside of my usual because of the whoopie pie pan twist, but these were just too darn cool to pass up!!! I hope they turn out well ;) Good luck everyone and consider this our first muffin tin experiment together. Let me know how yours turn out!! Happy Baking Everyone :D

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‘Crazy Good’ Choco-Chip Bite Sizers

Crazy Good Choco Chip Bite Sizers

Who doesn’t love cookies? Especially when they’re in a muffin tin!! Why in a muffin tin? Rebecca from Cooking With My Kid says this genius concept makes even the simplest of cookie recipes taste a-mazing because the density makes them so soft and chewy in the middle.  EXCELLENT!! That’s my family’s favorite way to eat them, no hard crunchy cookies here folks only the softest will do for us ;) Here is her recipe but feel free to use your own as well!

Crazy Good Choco-Chip Bite Sizer Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 10 mins (per batch)

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

Chop the coconut either by hand or with a food processor until it is fine. In a medium bowl whisk together coconut, flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars in the electric mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time and continue to beat. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and refrigerate while preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Scoop batter into prepared tin until each cup is 3/4 full. (Don’t over do it or the cookies will sink in the middle.) Gently push cookies down into the tin and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, use a butter knife to lift each bite sizer from the pan. Makes approximately 4 dozen bite sized cookies.

You can make almond flour yourself by chopping almonds in the food processor until they have a flour like consistency.

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Now for those of you who are going, aw man those sounded good until the almond & coconut part (like me, lol). Not a huge coconut fan what can I say. You can use ANY COOKIE RECIPE for this!! Standard chocolate chip, sugar cookies, from a tube or from scratch you name it and you can bake it! So use whatever recipe you like best and ENJOY the soft yummy goodness of cookies today!!

Ok, if not today put it on your list of things to make in your muffin tin… I know you all have one by now… right?! ;) I’m also always interested to hear about what you are doing with your muffin tins so talk to me, leave me a comment! Tell me what you make or what you want me to post about next. Have an awesome recipe? Share it and I’ll feature it on here :) Happy Tuesday everyone!

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Chocolate Peanut-Butter Cups

The sweet tooth strikes again!! From time to time my sweet tooth takes over the blog and this time it is craving peanut butter cups, lol ;) Featured on Design Sponge.com this recipe is from a column called Small Measures by Ashley English.

This recipe for making your own chocolate covered peanut butter cups avoids the preservatives and additives used in the commercially prepared ones! It is super easy too, Ashley says this, “Using a mere four ingredients, these treats would make an inexpensive yet decadent gift for your loved ones, fellow cubicle-mates or simply yourself.”

Only four ingredients?!! Count me in :) and as she says, they also make a great gift idea!

Chocolate-Covered Peanut-Butter Cups
Yields 12 cups

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 3 cups chocolate*
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

(Did anybody else notice there are actually 5 ingredients, lol, that’s ok I’m still on board!)

* She used bittersweet chocolate chips; feel free to use whatever type of chocolate you like — semi-sweet, milk chocolate or bittersweet. Bars and chips work equally well here, too.

Here’s how to do it…

1. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Set aside.

2. Melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate in a double boiler. Alternately, you could do this using a microwave, melting the chocolate in short bursts. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the stove and turn off the heat.

3. Using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush, paint a layer of melted chocolate onto the bottoms and sides of the paper liners. Don’t skimp on chocolate here; coat the liners generously. Set the bowl aside with any remaining melted chocolate left in it.

http://assets7.designsponge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/IMG_2197-e1297362942762.jpg

4. Put the muffin pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you make the peanut-butter filling.

5. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, crushed graham crackers, powdered sugar and salt. Stir with a spoon until well combined.

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6. Return the bowl used to melt the chocolate to the top of the double boiler. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chocolate and melt.

7. Meanwhile, divide peanut-butter mixture into 12 even amounts. (I used a cutting board while doing this to have a surface to rest the mounds on.)

8. Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator. Put one mound into each paper liner. Tap down each mound with your fingertips to “nest” it into the chocolate bottom.

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9. By now, the chocolate added to the double boiler should all be melted. Using a spoon, dollop the top of each peanut butter mixture mound with a generous portion of chocolate.

10. Use the back of a teaspoon to smooth out the tops (alternately, use the spoon to make a swirl atop each cup).

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11. Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator. Within one hour, your cups should be set, depending how cold your fridge runs.

12. Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Consume with gusto, or exercise extreme restraint and gift to others!

I LOVE THAT LAST LINE,  LOL! So what do you think? Are you craving peanut butter cups now? All I have left to say is GRAB THOSE MUFFIN TINS AND GET BUSY! :D

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Sloppy Joe Cups

Are you looking for something fun and different to make for dinner? Then try these Sloppy Joe Cups! I have two different versions for you today depending on your tastes, give ‘em a try :D

Sloppy Joe Biscuit Cups Recipe

This first one is from Pillsbury.com

Sloppy Joe Biscuit Cups

Prep Time: 30 Min

Total Time: 50 Min

Makes: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

3/4  lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup shredded pepper Jack or Cheddar cheese (2 oz)

DIRECTIONS

1.  Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic and bell pepper over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and brown sugar.
2.  Separate dough into 8 biscuits; place each biscuit in ungreased regular-size muffin cups (2 3/4×1 1/4 inches). Firmly press dough in bottom and up side of each cup, forming 1/4-inch rim. If desired, brush tops and sides of biscuits with an egg wash before baking. To make the egg wash, beat 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water until well blended.
3.  Spoon about 1/3 cup beef mixture into dough-lined cups. Sprinkle each biscuit with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese.
4.  Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and cheese is melted.
Enjoy!!
Now this second recipe is a little different and comes from Heavenly Homemakers.
Sloppy Cornbread Muffins
sloppy_corn_muffins_4
These are made with CORNBREAD instead of biscuits!! YUM :D
To make Sloppy Cornbread Muffins you will need:

1 recipe of Cornbread Click here for a homemade recipe or just use Jiffy mix, lol!
1/4 recipe of Sloppy Joes (which is 1/2 pound of meat) Again click on Sloppy Joes for a homemade recipe or you can go with Manwich ;) or in both cases use your own recipe, it’s up to you!

This will make 12 sloppy cornbread muffins.

Tip: These freeze and reheat very well…which means you may want to make a double batch!

Directions:

1. First preheat your oven to 400°  and  spray your muffin tin with cooking spray.( I know, above they are in liners, but they tend to stick to those so I advise going without.)

2. Fill your muffin cups half full with cornbread batter.

3. Spoon about a Tablespoon or two of Sloppy Joe meat into each muffin cup.

4. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

Now for an EXTRA BONUS today, I have for you a Dairy & Soy Free version of this recipe. If that’s what you need then go HERE.

Happy Friday everyone and let the weekend muffin tin fun begin!! :D

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Toddler Pudding Finger Paint

This one is pretty neat folks! When I first saw it I was like, “What is that?” Aha pudding, ooooh, that looks like FUN!!! :D So of course I had to share… Another way to learn through play :)

The photos & directions come to us from Homespun With Love.

Here’s what you will need:

Vanilla instant pudding

Food coloring

Muffin tin

Finger paint paper (the smooth glossy type)

An old sheet or something to cover the floor

Optional: Paint brushes and craft sticks, or other interesting items

Directions:

1. Mix up your pudding according to the package directions. Depending on the age of your children, you can have them help by measuring and pouring and stirring the pudding in the bowl.

2. Fill your muffin tin cavities 1/2 full with pudding.

3. Add food coloring and mix well. We found that some of the colors did not stay true due to the fact the pudding is a little yellow. It just made the colors more interesting.

Note: You can either use the pudding once it is mixed with the food coloring, or cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

This is an AWESOME sensory experience! Not to mention it introduces color mixing, fine & gross motor skills, jump starts the imagination and much much more.

Added bonuses are the quality time you will be spending together and it’s okay if they eat it, lol! ;)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this and will pay a visit to Homespun With Love, she has tons of great craft & decorating ideas as well as budget friendly recipes and more!

Keep on spreadin the muffin tin love!! <3

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