Aug. 8, 2011
When I lived in New York City, I couldn't stand the thought of baking in the summer months. I had a window AC unit but even with it full blast using my gas oven was out of the question.
I had to bake cookies in the summer once -- for a book expo -- and I baked them in a bikini. Even then I was dying so when Poochie tweeted she'd "baked" HH's chocolate zucchini muffins without and oven I had a thousand questions. Then I begged her to guest post her secrets.
Without further ado, here is Poochie:
I live in a 112+ year old home and sometimes I wish for a "summer kitchen". The original owners of our home would have had a detached kitchen to help prevent fires as well as working to keep the home cool in the pre-AC days. But now, our kitchen is attached to the home, but we still don't want to heat up the house with cooking, especially in the sweltering South.
Does that mean I have to do without delicious muffins all summer long? Heck no! The key is a simple appliance that may already be hanging around in your cabinets... the electric sandwich maker.
I've had my sandwich maker since college (ages and ages ago) and have, frankly, only ever used it to make muffins. Lol! In my pre-vegan days, I would use this for a quick batch of Jiffy muffins, but now I whip up HH's blueberry or, in this case, chocolate-zucchini muffins. And using this for muffins could not be simpler.
How to Bake Muffins Without an Oven:
Make your muffin batter according to the recipe and then all you do is plug in your sandwich maker to pre-heat after giving it a quick spritz of cooking spray (I then give the panels a quick blot with a paper towel). Mine is so basic it doesn't have an off/on switch. I just plug it in.
Once the maker is hot, and spoon in a few spoonfuls of the batter. Try to avoid over-filling or you'll make a bit of a mess. Then close the lid. The 2nd indicator light will go out when the muffins are done but you can also open the lid to check on them. There isn't really a set time but I would say each batch takes about 5 minutes.
Once the muffins are done, you should be able to pop them out easily. I use a butter knife but the edge of a spatula would work too. You may need to give the panels another spritz of cooking spray, just to make sure nothing sticks.
You get 4 triangular muffins each time. The process is a bit more manual than putting the whole batch in the oven at one time but at least my house isn't 20 degrees hotter! The muffins also come out with a baked "crust" (think the exterior of your traditional muffin base) but inside they are just as fluffy as regular muffins. I actually like muffins better this way!
I hope this helps you enjoy HH's delicious muffins all year round!
p.s. Vote for me (Lindasy Nixon) for fave cookbook author & Happy Herbivore for best blog!here