I don’t know if you’ve heard of it (sarcasm), but there’s this little site called Pinterest that’s all the rage. One of my favorite parts of Pinterest is how roughly 80% of the recipes featured on it tend to be something baked in a muffin tin.
I imagine that there are kitchens in the world that are filled with nothing but muffin tins. Every recipe that comes out is round. I’m waiting for the food truck to show up.
To be completely honest, I’m generally only a fan of cooking stuff in muffin tins if it actually makes your life easier. A lot of times I find the recipes to be more work than just cooking the real meal, even if they are cuter.
But I am not immune to the pull of the muffin tin so I thought I’d try my hand at baking an entire breakfast in one: potatoes, bacon, eggs. The good news is that it worked. The bad news is that it is work.
1) Peel and grate potatoes and submerge them in cold water for a minute to wash off extra starch. Drain potatoes and dry them well on a few paper towels.
2) Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat and add potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are browned. Try to break up potatoes as they cook so they stay in separate strands. They should take 12-15 minutes to brown nicely.
3) Meanwhile cook bacon in the oven at 350 degrees until very crispy. For more on how to cook perfect bacon, check out this post.
4) Grease a 6-cup muffin tin well and divide potatoes between tins. Leave a well in the center of each tin and make sure potatoes go up the sides to form potato cups.
5) Crumble bacon and add about a strip of bacon into each tin.
6) Scramble eggs and divide eggs between tins. You shouldn't need a full egg for each tin.
7) Season cups with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until eggs are cooked through, about 18-20 minutes.
8) When eggs are cooked, run a knife around the outside of each cup and remove each one. Pray that they don't stick, but they might stick a bit!
I’m a savory breakfast dude through and through and hash browns, bacon, and eggs are about as good as it gets for me. I figured it would be pretty easy to smash these things in a muffin tin, bake them, and call it a day.
I tried this once a few weeks ago and ended up with a huge mess in my kitchen. The thing I learned is that for this to work you have to cook the potatoes and bacon first, then put them all together.
So it’s really an extra cooking step entirely, but nobody said muffin tin cookery was easy!
If you don’t cook the potatoes first, then you have a cook time problem later. Either your eggs are perfectly cooked and your potatoes are raw or your potatoes are cooked and your eggs are super-cooked. If you cook the potatoes first though then the problem is solved.
Just grate up a few potatoes and then submerge them in cold water for a few seconds. This will help wash off some of the starch and make them less likely to stick later.
Then drain them and dry them as well as possible on a few paper towels.
Add some oil to a large skillet and cook the hash browns over medium high heat. As the potatoes cook, move them around a lot. Ideally the strands will stay pretty separate so you can easily fill the tins later.
After about 15 minutes of simmering, you should have some reasonably browned potatoes.
If I make these again, I think I would actually brown them even more than this.
When the potatoes are cooked, just scoop them into your muffin tins and make a well in the center. Be sure to work the potatoes up the edges of the tins.
Important Tip: Even though your potatoes have some oil on them from cooking, you still want to grease your muffin tins well. I recommend a good nonstick spray for this. These suckers will stick badly without some serious lubrication.
The Other Fillings
Like I said, I was shooting for a complete breakfast so I needed some bacon. If you wanted to go veg you could leave this out or add in some mushrooms, tempeh, or cheese.
Ninety percent of the time, if I’m cooking bacon, I’m using the best way to cook bacon which is in the oven on a tray at 350 degrees until it’s nice and crispy!
Each muffin tin will hold about one piece of bacon, crumbled.
Then just scramble your eggs really well and distribute them into the tins. And yes, I used four eggs for six tins. I don’t think a whole egg for each tin would fit.
Bake these strange things at 350 degrees until the eggs are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
I must say that I love how the tops of these get nice and crispy in the oven.
When they come out of the oven, cash in any kitchen karma that you might have and hope that they don’t stick. Mine did a little bit, but I just ran a knife around the outside and then they popped right out. I also didn’t do a great job of greasing my tins.
I served these with some fresh chopped chives and they were really good.
Like I said, I think these look awesome. I hope they receive many pins and re-pins.
Did they taste better than just cooking hash browns, bacon, and eggs and slapping them all on a plate? Not really.
Were they fun? Definitely. I can see making them for kids or if I was hosting a party I could see making a bunch of them in advance. But that’s pretty much it I think.