I like to have fresh muffins on hand, but sometimes I'm not up to hauling out all of the ingredients. Here's what works for me to make it a little easier.
At the beginning of each month, I make up four baggies of muffin mix and store them in the freezer (you probably don't need to put them in the freezer but I do). I use a standard recipe that can be tweaked by a variety of mix-ins. Throughout the month I just grab a baggie, add in the "wet" ingredients and whatever mix-ins I happen to have, then suddenly fresh muffins are ready for the taking in no time at all. In fact, hold on, I'll be right back. See? Just made some muffins (pineapple coconut because that's what was in the pantry).
Here's the recipe I use. I set up an assembly line, laying out four quart-sized baggies into bowls (so they'll stand up), then measure and dump the dry ingredients into each one. Do not add the "wet" ingredients!
from Alton Brown
dry ingredients (for each bag)
2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
"Wet" ingredients--to be added later!
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup plain yogurt (I've also used sour cream if my mix in is sweeter)
1 to 2 cups nuts, berries, chocolate chips, or any combo. Do not do more than 1 cup of chocolate chips though.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep muffin tin with baker's joy spray or muffin liners. Dump dry "mix" into bowl, whisk several times to fluff up (Alton says to pulse in a food processor for 5 seconds but I don't bother). In separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients. Dump wet ingredients onto dry, add in mix-ins, then stir until batter comes together. Do not mix smooth.
Drop batter into prepared tin. Cups should be full (at this point, you can store uncooked muffins, loosely covered, in the fridge if you want to bake them up the next morning. You could also store them in the bowl but do not stir everything up again before you pan them--you'll let out all the bubbles in the batter and you won't get all those awesome muffin-y nooks and crannies).
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place muffins on cooling rack or turn them onto their sides to let steam escape, preventing the dreaded mushy muffin bottom.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
A few more notes: I put all of my quart-sized baggies into a gallon-sized ziploc before I toss them into the freezer. It keeps them together so I know how many I have left. Plus, when I empty a baggie, I just stick it back into the gallon ziploc to reuse several times to minimize waste.
Be sure to check out more "works for me Wednesday" tips over at We are THAT Family.