Chilly Night, Warm House, and the Muffin Batter is in the Freezer, Ready to Bake

The kids are tucked in, rain mixed with sleet is pelting the windows, and the Christmas music is playing softly in the background.  It has been a busy – but not too hectic – week as we finished a few gifts, wrapped up work for a few days and did a little baking.

Several years ago, an acquaintance who happens to be in the catering business told me that you can mix up muffin batter, stick it in the freezer, and then when you are ready to use it, simply take it out to sit for a minute while the oven is preheating. The batter tends to be somewhat stiff, but it is still easy to scoop out with a spoon and then into a greased muffin tin.  I have used this method with several favorite muffin recipes, including banana and blueberry. It takes a little longer for the muffins to bake and it seems that they do not rise quite as much (although no one else in the family thinks this), but they still taste great. A couple of side notes: I mix up the batter in a glass mixing bowl with a tight-fitting lid and place this in the freezer. I often substitute applesauce for about half of the oil/butter (to reduce the fat content) in the recipes and the batter still freezes just fine.  While I always use the batter the next morning, it would probably be fine in the freezer for several days.

So with the muffin batter mixed up, the coffeemaker all set up, I am good to go when the kids wake us up before dawn!

A Picture for Santa

As I wrap up this day, I am most grateful for the laughter that rang out this afternoon as the kids were sledding down the small hill in the backyard (icy rain on top of snow always makes sledding faster and, therefore, more fun), for a warm house tonight, and for family that will sit down to eat with us tomorrow.

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