Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lime Poppy Seed Muffins, and Tips for Baking Before Work

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness. Lime poppy seed muffins may not be the standard, but I'm going with what I have. I love lemon. When I was thinking of ways to mix it up, I thought of using a pomelo, but then the lime tree caught my eye and I went with lime.

I made these minis one morning and took them in to share with my coworkers. I get a lot of questions from them as they wonder how I manage to bake in the morning before coming to work. Here are a few tips:
  • Coffee comes first. Enough said.
  • I measure most of the ingredients the night before and leave them in the microwave overnight. Why the microwave? I have two adorable but curious 1 year old kittens who love to play in the middle of the night. One morning I woke up to sugar scattered all over the counter and floor. In my early morning stupor, I might turn on the oven without looking inside, but not the microwave.
  • I keep butter in a cereal bowl with a silicone pastry brush in the fridge. When I need to butter a pan (or muffin tins) I pull it out, warm it up in the microwave, butter my pans and stick the bowl and brush back in the fridge.
  • Pick easy recipes. I know better than to attempt a cheesecake before work (I'm an early riser, just not that early).
  • Don't be afraid to finish a dessert at work. I have been known to frost cakes and whip cream in the break room. Sometimes it's easier to haul a bowl of frosting and the cake layers to work than it is to protect your frosted cake from auto mishap (as with this dessert). 
  • If you're making brownies, you can put the batter in the pan and refrigerate, unbaked, overnight. Leave the pan out on the counter while you drink your coffee and preheat the oven.
  • I scoop and refrigerate (or freeze) cookie dough all the time. Some recipes tell you not to defrost, just to bake them a couple of minutes longer, but I like them better when I let them defrost in the fridge over night. You may feel differently, but both methods work. Scooping first makes a big difference. Frozen (or refrigerated) cookie dough is hard to scoop.
There you have it. There are many ways to enjoy fresh, warm baked goods in the morning and these are just a few of them. Experiment and find what works for you!


Welcome to our crazy blessed life said...

Great tips on how to bake in the morning! I will have to implement them! :)

Tia said...

awesome! very useful tips. I love baking in the morning too. I often do yeast breads that I let rise in the fridge overnight. Just preheat oven and bake the next morning!

spike. said...

I love getting up early and baking! thanks for the tips

B said...

Thanks for baking with me this week. I would never think to use lime but sounds good. Thanks for the tips!

Katrina said...

What a bunch of great tips for treats all day. ;)
Love that you used lime!

TeaLady said...

These are great tips. I am never organized enough to bake B4 work, maybe now I can be.

Should have made minis. They are so cute.

Kayte said...

Lime sounds really great to me...I love all the citrus flavors and in the morning they just seem even more appropriate, don't they? Love all the tips you have...most of them are new to me and I would not have thought of them. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I was just reviewing all of the posts I missed while on vacation - of course everything looks delicious, but I especially appreciate the tips for baking in the morning. Now I feel like I might actually be able to do it! Thanks!

Pamela said...

Great tips! I often measure out all of the dry ingredients into one tupperware bowl until I'm ready to bake the recipe. Saves so much time. And your coworkers must love seeing you come in with goodies.