I’m so excited to share this post with you today. In addition to my usual recipe, I have a cute little trick in store for you.
Today I’ll show you how easy, inexpensive and totally awesome is to make your own tulip-shaped baking cups. These paper liners are perfect for all those times you are felling a little crafty, and want to show off your dexterous culinary skills to your friends.
Confession: I do that sometimes :)
Or for all those times you plan to bake two batches of cupcakes or muffins but forget to buy enough paper cups.
Another confession: I wonder where my head is sometimes :)
Now, you don’t have to drag yourself to the store just for those silly muffin cups.
All you need is a roll of parchment paper. I prefer the natural (unbleached) tan-colored paper, like the one in my photos. It looks a little fancier than your usual plain white. But both work just fine.
All you do is cut the paper in squares with sides of about 6 inches (15 cm). Measure, fold and run a knife or scissor along the fold.
Find a cup (or glass, can, container …) in your kitchen that fits your muffin tin. The base of the cup should be about the same circumference of the base of the muffin mold. Mine are regular size muffin cups with a 2 inches diameter at the bottom (5 cm).
Center the square paper on the bottom of the cup. Make one fold on each of the four sides of the paper, using your two index fingers.
Make sure to run your fingers along the bottom, so that the paper stay better in shape. Place the paper liner in the muffin mold.
And that is all!
Here are some pictures for you. Easy-peasy right?!?
Once you try these, I’m sure you’ll never spend money on paper cups again. Simple, yet kind of fancy. With these paper liners, you can make extra large muffins that look like those you buy at the French bakery around the corner. You can fill the muffin tin up to the edge, without worrying about spilled-over batter at the bottom of your oven. Ugh. No one likes that!
Ok. One last confession for today: it happens to the best of us :)
Now let’s talk about these delicious almond-poppyseeds muffins. Here is the secret to make bakery-style, round-top muffins. Well … two secrets.
First, when you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, just combine with a spoon or a spatula. Don’t use an electric mixer. And just combine without mixing too much.The more you mix, the more gluten develops, the thicker the consistency of the batter, the denser/chewier/harder the muffins. So, please DO NOT OVERMIX the batter!!!!!!!! Oh sorry about the YELLING and all the “!”. I really want you to eat soft and fluffy muffins :)
The second trick to making muffins with a rounded top is to fill paper liners all the way to the edge of the mold (or right above) and bake them at a higher temperature for the first few minutes. Bake at 425 degrees F for ten minutes, placing the muffins in the upper third of the oven. Then, lower the temperature to 375 degrees, and move the pan to the middle of the oven for the remaining time.
Ready to try these?!?
Ingredients: to make 8 large muffins – as shown in pictures (or 12 regular size)
- 4 oz (115 gr) of unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200 gr) of sugar
- 2 cups (300 gr) of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (100 gr) of almond meal
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1/4 cup (30 gr) of poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (250 ml) of milk
- 1 teaspoon of almond extract
- 1/2 cup (60 gr) sliced almonds – for the top
- coarse sugar (optional) for the top
Preparation time: about one hour
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F (215° C).
Soften the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave (set for 20 seconds at high. mix and add 10 more seconds if necessary). Let the butter cool down.
2. In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together (sugar, flour, almond meal, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt). Set aside.
3. In a different bowl add the eggs, milk, softened butter (cooled down) and almond extra. Whisk the ingredients well together.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula – not your blender. And mix just enough so that the ingredients are combined. DON’T over mix… Have I said that before?!? :)
5. Line 8 regular size muffin tin with extra large paper liners, Using an ice-cream scoop or a big spoon, add the batter to the muffin liners. I used about one and half scoops filling to just above the edge of the muffin tin. I ended up with 8 large muffins. You can also fill them right below the edge and get 12 regular size muffins.
6. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar (optional) and the sliced almonds.
7. Bake at 425°F (215° C) for 10 minutes in the upper third part of the oven (I placed the rack on the second from the top slot). After the 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 375° (190° C) and the muffins to the middle of the oven. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes until golden on top.