50 Things to Make in a Muffin Pan

Every dish is more fun when it's mini ...

FN1106151_HASHBROWN_02.tif

Hash Brown Cups (No. 1)

1. Hash Brown Cups Toss 1 pound shredded Yukon Gold potatoes with 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and some pepper. Press into a cup shape in 12 oiled muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees F until browned and crisp, 45 to 50 minutes. Fill with scrambled eggs.

2. Cheesy Hash Brown Cups Make Hash Brown Cups (No. 1), adding 1 cup grated sharp cheddar and a pinch of paprika to the potato mixture.

3. Broccoli Frittatas Whisk 10 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, 2/3 cup shredded three-cheese blend, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and some pepper. Divide among 12 oiled muffin cups; sprinkle with 1 cup finely chopped steamed broccoli and some more cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F until just set, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

4. Poached Eggs Spoon 1 tablespoon hot water into each muffin cup. Crack 1 egg into each cup; season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees F to desired doneness, 12 to 14 minutes. Carefully remove with a spoon.

FN1106151_EGG_SANDWICH_02.tif

Ham and Egg Cups (No. 5)

5. Ham and Egg Cups Make a cut from the edge to the center of 6 Canadian bacon slices; press each into a muffin cup, overlapping as needed. Crack 1 egg into each cup; season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees F to desired doneness, 12 to 14 minutes.

6. Bacon Cinnamon Rolls Separate the rolls from one 12-ounce tube refrigerated cinnamon rolls; place each in an oiled muffin cup. Sprinkle with crumbled cooked bacon, gently pressing to adhere. Bake as the label directs. Drizzle with the icing or maple syrup.

7. Honey Croissant Bites Cut one 8-ounce tube refrigerated crescent dough into 1-inch pieces (do not unroll). Toss with 3 tablespoons each melted butter, honey, raisins and chopped pecans and 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar. Divide among 6 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Bake at 425 degrees F until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

8. Chocolate Croissants Cut twelve 2-by-4-inch strips of puff pastry (from one 17-ounce package); place 2 teaspoons chopped chocolate in the center of each. Fold one short end over the chocolate, then fold the opposite end over. Place each in a muffin cup, seam-side down. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

9. Blueberry Pancake Stacks Melt 3 tablespoons butter with 3/4 cup maple syrup in the microwave. Layer 3 thawed frozen silver dollar pancakes and some blueberries in each of 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners, drizzling the maple butter between each layer and over the tops. Bake at 400 degrees F until warm, 15 minutes.

FN1106151_FRENCH_TOAST_02.tif

French Toast Muffins (No. 10)

10. French Toast Muffins Whisk 2 cups milk, 4 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add 8 cups cubed white bread; soak 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Divide among 12 oiled muffin cups; top with sliced almonds. Bake at 350 degrees F until set, 25 minutes. Top with maple syrup.

FN1106151_CRANBERRY_OATMEAL.tif

Cranberry Oatmeal Bites (No. 11)

11. Cranberry Oatmeal Bites Whisk 1 1/2 cups warm milk, 1/4 cup each brown sugar and melted butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir in 3 cups rolled oats, 3/4 cup each dried cranberries and pepitas and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Divide among 12 oiled muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F until set, 25 minutes.

FN1106151_BRIE_CHUTNEY_02.tif

Baked Brie Cups (No. 12)

12. Baked Brie Cups Cut 12 ounces Brie into twelve 1-inch cubes; divide among 6 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Top each with 1 tablespoon mango chutney. Bake at 400 degrees F until bubbling, 10 minutes. Top with toasted baguette slices.

FN1106151_GOAT_CHEESE_01.tif

Goat Cheese Terrines (No. 13)

13. Goat Cheese Terrines Puree 10 ounces goat cheese with 8 ounces cream cheese and 1 tablespoon each roasted garlic and chopped thyme, parsley and chives; season with salt and pepper. Remove half. Puree the remaining goat cheese mixture with 1/2 cup chopped cooked beets. Line 6 muffin cups with plastic wrap; layer with the goat cheese mixtures, spreading evenly. Chill 2 hours.

FN1106151_HAM_AND_CHEESE.tif

Ham and Cheese Rolls (No. 14)

14. Ham and Cheese Rolls Cut one 8-ounce tube refrigerated crescent dough into 1-inch pieces (do not unroll). Toss with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup each chopped sliced ham and shredded Gruyère, and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Divide among 6 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Bake at 425 degrees F until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

FN1106151_FOCACCIA.tif

Focaccia Bites (No. 15)

15. Focaccia Bites Press 1 ounce pizza dough into each of 12 oiled muffin cups. Let sit 1 hour. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and chopped rosemary, then top with pesto and sliced cherry tomatoes. Bake at 400 degrees F until puffed and golden, 12 minutes.

16. Grape Focaccia Bites Make Focaccia Bites (No. 15), replacing the pesto and tomatoes with halved red grapes; gently press into the dough before baking.

FN1106151_SPANIKOPITA_02.tif

Spanakopita (No. 17)

17. Spanakopita Combine 6 ounces chopped fresh spinach, 3/4 cup crumbled feta, 1 beaten egg, 2 sliced scallions and 2 tablespoons chopped dill; season with salt and pepper. Cut out twelve 4-inch squares of phyllo dough (from 3 sheets). Press 1 phyllo square into each of 12 buttered muffin cups. Divide the filling among the cups and fold the overhanging phyllo into the center. Bake at 425 degrees F until golden and set, 15 minutes.

18. Crab Cakes Mix 8 ounces lump crab, 1/3 cup finely crushed butter crackers, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon each lemon zest and chopped chives, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of cayenne. Lightly press into 12 oiled muffin cups and chill 15 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown, 10 minutes. Serve with tartar sauce.

19. Potato Stacks Toss 2 pounds thinly sliced peeled russet potatoes with 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 grated garlic clove, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, a few grinds of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Stack the potatoes in 12 oiled muffin cups and top with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F until tender, 40 minutes. Uncover; top with 1/3 cup shredded Gruyère. Bake 20 more minutes.

FN1106151_BACON_GRATIN.tif

Bacon Potato Stacks (No. 20)

20. Bacon Potato Stacks Make Potato Stacks (No. 19), replacing the heavy cream with chicken broth, adding 2 teaspoons thyme and omitting the nutmeg. Top with 1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon and the cheese.

21. Potato Nachos Boil 12 baby potatoes until tender, 10 minutes. Place each in an oiled muffin cup; smash with a fork and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees F until crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Top with 3/4 cup grated pepper jack and bake until melted, 1 minute. Top with sour cream, guacamole and scallions.

22. Corn Puppies Whisk 1/2 cup cornmeal, 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard powder and 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder and kosher salt. Whisk in 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Divide among 24 oiled mini-muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each); add 1 halved cocktail frank to each. Bake at 400 degrees F until set, 13 to 15 minutes.

23. Tamale Pies Make the batter for Corn Puppies (No. 22). Brown 8 ounces ground beef in olive oil; season with 1 teaspoon each chili powder and cumin and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir in 3/4 cup bean-and-corn salsa; simmer until thickened. Divide among 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners; top with the batter and 3/4 cup grated pepper Jack. Bake at 375 degrees F until set, 20 minutes.

24. Pizza Bites Press 1 ounce pizza dough into each of 12 oiled muffin cups. Top each with 2 teaspoons each pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella and other assorted toppings (mushrooms, peppers, etc.). Bake at 475 degrees F until puffed and browned, 12 minutes.

25. Calzones Divide 1 pound pizza dough into 12 balls and stretch each into a 3-inch circle; pile 1 teaspoon each chopped pepperoni, ricotta and shredded mozzarella in the middle of each. Gather the dough around the filling and pinch together to close. Divide among 12 oiled muffin cups, seam-side down, and brush with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

26. Spaghetti-Bacon Pies Cook 8 ounces spaghetti as the label directs. Drain; toss with 1 1/2 cups spicy marinara, 1 beaten egg, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan, 6 slices chopped cooked bacon and 2 tablespoons parsley. Divide among 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners; sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 15 minutes.

FN1106151_LASAGNA_04.tif

Mini Lasagnas (No. 27)

27. Mini Lasagnas Combine 1 cup each ricotta and shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup each Parmesan and chopped parsley and 1 egg. Cut out twelve 4-by-6-inch pieces fresh pasta. Spoon 1 tablespoon marinara into each of 12 muffin cups. Press 1 piece of pasta into each. Divide the filling among the cups and top each with 1 more tablespoon marinara. Fold the overhanging pasta into the center of each cup, dabbing with water to seal the edges. Top each with 2 more tablespoons marinara; sprinkle with more mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees F until browned and bubbling, 15 minutes. Top with chopped parsley.

28. Mini Spinach Lasagnas Make Mini Lasagnas (No. 27), replacing the parsley in the filling with 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach.

29. Meatballs Mix 1 pound ground beef with 1/3 cup each breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan and chopped parsley, 1 egg, 1 grated garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Form into 6 balls. Divide among 6 jumbo muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Bake at 425 degrees F until browned, 20 minutes. Top with marinara and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake 15 more minutes.

30. Mini Meatloaves Mix 2 pounds meatloaf mix (beef, pork and veal) with 1/2 cup each grated onion and panko, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon each chili powder, chopped thyme and kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Press into 12 oiled muffin cups. Brush with chili sauce (such as Heinz). Bake at 425 degrees F until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.

31. Cheeseburger Sliders Divide the bottoms of 12 mini potato rolls among 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Form 1 pound ground beef into 12 small patties and divide among the cups; season with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees F until just cooked through, 10 minutes. Top with small slices of American cheese and bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Top with sliced pickles, mustard, ketchup and the roll tops.

 

FN1106151_MAC_AND_CHEESE.tif

Mac and Cheese Cups (No. 32)

32. Mac and Cheese Cups Cook 1 1/2 cups macaroni as the label directs; drain. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons flour until smooth. Whisk in 2 cups milk; bring to a boil. Whisk in 2 cups shredded cheddar, stirring until melted. Stir in the macaroni and season with salt and pepper. Divide among 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden, 15 minutes.

FN1106151_7_LAYER_DIP_CUP.tif

Taco Salad Cups (No. 33)

33. Taco Salad Cups Coat 6 jumbo muffin cups with cooking spray. Press one 6-inch flour tortilla into each to form cups; coat with cooking spray and season with salt and chili powder. Bake at 425 degrees F until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Remove and fill with guacamole, refried beans, sour cream and fresh salsa. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped cilantro and shredded cheddar.

34. Power Smoothie Disks Puree 3 cups chopped kale with 1 cup each chopped cucumber and pineapple, 3/4 cup coconut water, 4 slices peeled ginger and a pinch of turmeric. Divide among 12 muffin cups. Freeze until firm, 6 hours. For 1 smoothie: Blend 3 disks with 3/4 cup coconut water.

35. Chocolate Strawberry Clusters Line 12 muffin cups with nonstick foil liners; coat the liners with cooking spray. Arrange a few hulled strawberries and 1 tablespoon peanuts in each cup. Melt 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave. Drizzle over the strawberries. Chill until set.

FN1106151_MONKEY_BREAD_02.tif

PB&J Monkey Breads (No. 36)

36. PB&J Monkey Breads Quarter each biscuit from two 7.5-ounce tubes biscuit dough; toss with 1/2 cup sugar. Divide among 12 oiled muffin cups. Whisk 1/4 cup warm peanut butter with 2 tablespoons melted butter; spoon over the dough. Bake at 350 degrees F until puffed and golden, 25 minutes. Remove while warm and drizzle with warm jelly.

37. Chocolate-Coconut Monkey Breads Cut each biscuit from a 16.3-ounce tube large biscuit dough into 8 pieces; roll in 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, then 1 cup turbinado sugar. Divide half of the dough among 6 oiled jumbo muffin cups; sprinkle with 1/3 cup chocolate chips and top with the remaining dough. Bake at 350 degrees F until puffed and golden, 25 minutes.

38. S'mores Cereal Treats Melt all but 1 cup of a 10-ounce bag mini marshmallows with 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot, stirring until smooth. Stir in 6 cups square graham cereal. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved marshmallows and 1 cup milk chocolate chips. Press into 12 oiled muffin cups; let cool.

39. Molten Chocolate Cakes Melt 8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate with 10 tablespoons butter in the microwave; stir until smooth. Beat 3 eggs and 3 yolks with 1 cup confectioners' sugar with a mixer until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in 1/3 cup flour and the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and coat with cooking spray. Divide the batter among the cups. Bake at 400 degrees F until the tops are set but the centers are jiggly, 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

40. Frozen Peanut Butter Cups Melt 8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate with 1/3 cup heavy cream in the microwave. Put 1 teaspoon melted chocolate in each of 24 lined mini-muffin cups; chill until set. Mix 1/3 cup each peanut butter and confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons softened butter until smooth. Drop into the muffin cups; spoon the remaining chocolate over the tops. Freeze until set, about 4 hours.

41. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Cups Pulse 2 cups plain 2 percent Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup honey or jam (any flavor) in a blender until smooth. Divide among 12 paper-lined muffin cups and top with a few berries or some diced fruit. Freeze until set, 2 hours.

42. Birthday Ice Cream Cakes Cut six 1/2-inch-thick slices pound cake in half. Press 1 piece into each of 6 muffin cups and top with a large scoop of softened ice cream. Press another pound cake slice on top of each. Freeze until firm, 6 hours. Unmold and spread whipped cream around the sides and tops; decorate with rainbow sprinkles.

43. Chocolate Ice Cream Cakes Make Birthday Ice Cream Cakes (No. 42) using 2 small scoops ice cream and sprinkling crushed chocolate sandwich cookies between them. Use chocolate sprinkles.

44. Chocolate Chip Cookies Beat 1 stick melted butter with 3/4 cup each light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk 11/4 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder; stir into the dough. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Roll into 12 balls; divide among 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 15 to 18 minutes.

45. Mini Cheesecakes Beat two 8-ounce packages cream cheese with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon each vanilla and lemon juice and a pinch of salt until smooth. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons graham cracker crumbs into each of 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Divide the filling among the cups. Bake at 325 degrees F until set, 30 minutes.

FN1106151_KEY_LIME_PIE.tif

Key Lime Cheesecakes (No. 46)

46. Key Lime Cheesecakes Beat 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup each confectioners' sugar and sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Dissolve 1 teaspoon gelatin in 1 tablespoon warm water; beat into the cream cheese mixture with 1/4 cup Key lime juice. Combine 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter; press into 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Divide the filling among the cups. Chill until set, 4 hours. Top with lime zest.

FN1106151_FRUIT_CRISPS.tif

Fruit Crisps (No. 47)

47. Fruit Crisps Toss 3 chopped peeled pears with 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon each flour and vanilla; divide among 12 muffin cups lined with nonstick foil liners. Mix 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup each brown sugar and chopped hazelnuts and a pinch of salt with 4 tablespoons softened butter until large clumps form; sprinkle on top of the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 25 minutes.

FN1106151_DUTCH_BABY.tif

Blueberry Dutch Babies (No. 48)

48. Blueberry Dutch Babies Divide 2/3 cup blueberries among 12 buttered muffin cups. Pulse 1 cup milk, 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder in a blender until smooth. Divide among the cups. Bake at 375 degrees F until lightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

49. Cherry Clafoutis Divide 1 1/3 cups jarred pitted cherries (drained) among 6 paper-lined jumbo muffin cups. Pulse 1 cup heavy cream with 1/4 cup each flour and sugar, 2 eggs and 2 yolks and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract in a blender until smooth. Divide among the cups; loosely cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F until almost set, 45 minutes.

FN1106151_APPLIE_PIE_02.tif

Mini Apple Pies (No. 50)

50. Mini Apple Pies Saute 2 pounds chopped peeled apples in 4 tablespoons butter with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt until tender, 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; let cool. Cut out twelve 4-inch rounds of refrigerated pie dough (from one 14-ounce package); slice the scraps into strips. Press each round into a muffin cup. Add the filling and top with the dough strips to form lattice crusts. Brush the crusts with beaten egg and dot with butter. Bake at 375 degrees F until the crusts are browned and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes.

 

Photographs by Levi Brown