The other day I was looking through crock pot/ slow cooker recipes online and came across quite a few that called for using some kind of other cooking vessel and sitting it down inside the crockery. The recipes I had come across were calling for very specific sizes of casserole dishes, ramekins or spring form pans…. none of which I had.
When I asked my facebook followers if they were having a hard time finding these “vessels” in their kitchen cabinets many said yes. I did get a great suggestion from Kim A., who said to use a removable crock from a smaller slow cooker and place it inside the larger one, putting water in between the two of them though. That’s a GREAT idea Kim, thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be trying that out.
Realizing that not everyone has multiple crock pots in multiple sizes (and I am NOT one of those people, I assure you I have several to choose from) I started pricing some (what I would consider odd sized) cooking vessels online. Needless to say, I was shocked at how quickly I could’ve gotten a couple hundred dollars wrapped up in this. I like to repurpose as many things in the kitchen as I can, so I knew this was not going to happen.
Over the next couple of days I kept racking my brain trying to think of something that would work that I already have on hand inside a crock pot. I was simultaneously thinking “It’s too darn hot to cook muffins in the oven, wish I could do THAT in the crock pot!”. If you’re wondering, YES, I did try to fit my muffin tin into every crock pot I own…. which didn’t work. I even thought about buying one of the throw away aluminum foil muffin tins at the grocery store and cutting and stacking them.
What I finally realized was that I use canning jars for making the crock pot caramel and the crock pot chocolate syrup and I could also use those to bake in…. inside the crock pot. I’M A GENIUS!!!! (well, maybe not genius, but I had an awesome light bulb moment ~grins~)
- (1) 7 oz box of your favorite muffin mix
- ingredients on box to make muffins (mine called for egg and milk)
- 6 – 8 half pint straight edged canning jars
- 2 1/12″ baking liners
- wooden skewer or toothpick for checking for doneness
Remove the lids from your jars. I used a brand new package of half pint jars that I had in storage. Make sure you clean and dry them thoroughly.
Place one of the baking liners inside each jar.
Mix muffin mix according to package directions. I used a 7 ounce box of apple cinnamon muffin mix that was $0.50 or less (just in case I messed it up… I didn’t want it to cost a lot for my screw up). Make sure, as with any time you’re making muffins, not to overmix the batter.
Carefully fill each baking liner 1/2 full. Place the jars (I got seven out of my batter) inside a 6 quart crock pot. You want to make sure your crock pot lid will fit securely. You also want to make sure that they don’t touch.
Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on high for 2 – 3 hours. Mine were done in exactly 2 hours and 14 minutes. Use the wooden skewer to check for doneness. When it comes out clean, they are done. You’re also looking for the jars that are around the edge to start browning. Once they are done, carefully using oven mits remove the jars with muffins in them from the crock pot. Place the hot jars on a dry dish towel. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before running the skewer or a butter knife around the edges to remove.
- Next time I may not use the baking liners. I think that spraying the inside of the jars with non-stick cooking spray would work fine.
- I’m going to try adding a little water to the bottom of the crock pot before placing the filled jars inside of it. I’m hoping this will help with even browning.
Over all I would consider this a crock pot success. (1) I didn’t have to turn the oven on and heat up the whole house to make some muffins (which is a huge plus in this heat). (2) They didn’t have that dome that muffins have since I cooked them in the jar, but that was one less thing to fight over. (3) They tasted great and are already being requested again (and they just barely got cool enough to eat…. GEES ;o) ).
I will definitely be making muffins this way again.
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