Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homemade Cupcake/Muffin Liners

Some friends and readers have asked if it would be possible for me to include some quick and easy money saving tips on my blog for people who are short on time. I mean, I am aware that not everyone has the time or inclination to be traipsing off into the fields to collect wild edibles, nor do they have the time to cook everything from scratch, but they are still interested in quick money saving ideas... I just always felt a little silly posting something this short and simple on my blog... but by popular request, here's a short but sweet money saving idea.

I love cupcakes and muffins, muffins especially. (And I just learned only 2 days ago what the official difference is between the two- in case you were wondering, muffins are the healthier version, usually.)  Making muffins for breakfast is a nice treat to have, and generally works out cheaper than eating a bowl of cereal, not to mention healthier, but it can still be grabbed quickly for a breakfast when you have little time, provided you make a large batch and freeze them.
The thing about muffins and cupcakes is that they always seem to be getting stuck in muffin tins, and you end up leaving half the muffin behind in the tin! No, I've tried silicon muffin tins and it STILL usually doesn't work.
So cupcake and muffin liners end up being used in my home, because otherwise I just can't get the darned thing out.

A little while back, a reader asked me if I had any idea how to make my own cupcake/muffin liners.
 I hadn't given it a thought before that, just took it as a given that you had to purchase them in the store every time you wanted to bake cupcakes or muffins. Unless you'd purchased silicon muffin liners, that is.

But the other day, I'd wanted to bake muffins and didn't have liners.

And then it hit me-
Parchment paper!

Just cut squares of parchment paper (I'm able to get 9 squares out of each sheet of parchment paper) and stuff them into the hollows of the muffin tin, then fill them.

No, they don't win any prizes for beauty, nor can they be used to hold little treats like cut up rice krispies treats, but they do the job well enough and stop your muffins from being left behind in the tin.

I haven't done the price comparison for these, but what I do know is that its always cheaper to use what you already have in the house than to run out to the store to buy something you're missing, because trips to the store always end up being more expensive than you'd expected- its rare to walk out of a store with just those one or two things you'd planned on buying. Not to mention the cost of gas to get to the store if you drive.

Another thing worth mentioning though is that parchment paper is non stick, and in many cases, the cupcakes or muffins will peel right off of the parchment paper, and then can be reused.

But even if you just use these one time, I still suspect that this will be cheaper than bought muffin papers. Though, as I said, I haven't done the math. If you want to do the math, I'd love to know what you come up with.

In case anyone is wondering- I made those muffins spur of the moment when I didn't have brown rice flour with which to make my standard gluten free flour mix to use to make muffins. Instead, I made millet flour, raw buckwheat flour, and shortgrain brown rice flour in my coffee grinder (a little coarse because I was in a rush, but that was fine for this), added some potato starch, ground chia seeds, xanthan gum, honey, date syrup, baking powder, salt, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and some chopped peaches and apples. Completely experimental, but they came out terrifically! I made 4 dozen, and they ALL were gone within 24 hours! Despite having no gluten, eggs, dairy, or refned sugar to boot! My kids loved them! I love when an experiment works out!

Are you a cupcake or muffin fan? What do you use for liners, or do you skip the liners entirely?
Ever experiment with making homemade muffins without a recipe? Are you a "muffin for breakfast" type person?
Are you a busy person, or someone with a decent amount of free time to be used for money saving projects?

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