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Storing muffins, cookies, & other baked goodies


petit cochon
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I feel like I am missing something obvious here. I'm never sure how to store homemade baked goods - muffins, cookies, cakes, etc. seem to change texture overnight. My pumpkin muffins were so good out of the oven yesterday afternoon; this morning they have a slightly sticky surface after having spent the night in a tinfoil parcel. I've tried tupperware too - doesn't seem to yield better results in my experience.

Am I missing a trick here? How do you store your baked goods?

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Did you dust sugar over the tops before baking? The sugar will attract moisture and make them sticky. Without the sugar topping I store mine in tupperware.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I have a few questions. How did you prepare the pan? Did you use cupcake holders, etc? I find that if I use too much pan spray or "grease" my products come out sticky on the bottom. If the cake or muffin is just a bit underbaked the bottom might be sticky. I also freeze quite a bit. I let the baked good cool down, wrap well in plastic wrap and put in the freezer. When defrosting, I leave the wrapping in place. The baked good will stay moist.

always make lemonade out of lemons

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Thanks for the thoughts! Hmm... No sugar on top. I did use foil muffin liners - the bottoms didn't seem moist, just the tops that were exposed to air (inside tinfoil). Even in tupperware (in the past) moisture seems to be an issue... do the muffins (etc.) give off some sort of moisture that gets trapped in the surrounding air when I wrap them? Would I be better off not wrapping them at all or just wrapping in kitchen towels or some other breathable material? I don't really know what the issue is here!

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Are they completely cooled before you put the lid on? You may want to try putting the muffins in the container and into the fridge for a bit before putting a lid on, just to be sure. Or leave them on the rack for a couple hours.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I have been baking many different kind of muffins for years, and I love them but I find they deteriorate very rapidly if they are stored anywhere but in the freezer. It doesn't matter what method of storage - tupperware, ziplock bags, foil, and it doesn't matter if they have sugar on them or not, room temperature storage doesn't do anything to enhance the texture and flavour of muffins. They are best right out of the oven and for maybe a couple of hours after that. If you want to retain the freshness etc. then you have to freeze them and reheat them.

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Plum Tart, I'm sad to hear that future batches may be freezer bound - was hoping there was some way to stretch the 'shelf-stable' window a bit - but am thankful to learn from your experience! I'll try the freezer approach next time. How do you recommend defrosting for optimal texture? How long do you find that muffins keep in the freezer?

One other last-ditch idea just occurred to me too - I may try to find one of those clay (I think?) things that I've seen marketed as brown sugar 'savers' and seal in a bag w/ a muffin. Or, easier still, maybe rice (have heard of that being done w/ salt)? Anyone tried that?

Will do a little experimenting w/ all of the above once I finish this existing batch and am ready for more!

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I have thawed them overnight and then warmed them and I have put them directly into a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. Both work.

I wouldn't freeze them for an longer than 3 months but if you are like me, they won't last that long!

I will be interested to hear about your clay pot experiment.

Cheers

Plum Tart

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Plum Tart, I'm sad to hear that future batches may be freezer bound - was hoping there was some way to stretch the 'shelf-stable' window a bit - but am thankful to learn from your experience! I'll try the freezer approach next time. How do you recommend defrosting for optimal texture? How long do you find that muffins keep in the freezer?

One other last-ditch idea just occurred to me too - I may try to find one of those clay (I think?) things that I've seen marketed as brown sugar 'savers' and seal in a bag w/ a muffin. Or, easier still, maybe rice (have heard of that being done w/ salt)? Anyone tried that?

Will do a little experimenting w/ all of the above once I finish this existing batch and am ready for more!

You can also try using Silica Gel packs in your containers. I used some in our Christmas cookie container last year and ended up using too many. We had the crispiest cookies ever. :laugh: This year we are going to use less packets to try and find a better balance of crisp versus tender.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Have you tried storing them in a glass container or metal tin?

In an effort to reduce our exposure to plastic and aluminum I now store everything in glass containers. Ours have a plastic lid (Pyrex makes some with a glass lid but I don't like the shape) so I place a sheet of natural wax paper between it and the food. I've noticed that our food stays fresh much longer now -- I've kept a head of butter lettuce for a month and it looked as fresh as the day I bought it* -- so it might work with your muffins.

*I bought it for hamburgers and then forgot it at the back of the fridge and was amazed that it was still edible.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I can't remember where I first heard this, but it really works. Put the baked goods into the airtight container of your choice (of course after they're fully cooled) and along with your baked goods put a piece of very fresh bread. I don't understand the chemistry, but it seems that the bread "grabs" the air and the baked goods remain fresher. Of course, this only grabs you and extra day (2 tops).

---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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I need to do further experimenting, but had good initial results using the 'brown sugar bear'. Added the bear to tupperware along with leftover scones and their texture didn't seem to deteriorate nearly as much as I've previously experienced with other baked goods - still very enjoyable and fresh-tasting (to me) after several days. Of course I've never made scones before, so could just be that they are more forgiving. Anyhow, will try again with muffins (which prompted my original question) and report back!

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Scones ARE more forgiving, as their ingredient mix is less sweet and the baked moisture content is lower.

Muffins and cakes undergo a chemical change that creates the sticky tops (basically sugar, as well as being a sweetener, causes a softer crumb in baked products. It helps with the shelf life because it absorbs moisture -- but sugar attracts airborne moisture, making a sticky top).

This can be disguised a bit if they are topped with streusel or the like. Otherwise, freezing is best for storage.

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