Muffins have a shelf-life of three to seven days when stored in the pantry, but they can go stale and dry out pretty quickly. The same can happen when you refrigerate them. This process is due to starch crystallization and moisture loss. Additionally, muffins and other baked goods absorb odors from the environment, which can impact their freshness. That's why it's best to store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
While there's no way to prevent your muffins from going stale, you can slow down or reverse this process. For example, reheating them in the oven can restore the texture. This hack will also work for day-old bread, dry cookies, and stale cakes. All you need is a parchment paper bag or aluminum foil and a few minutes of your time. Alternatively, you can freeze your muffins for two to three months to keep them from getting dry.
Try This Hack To Revitalize Stale Muffins
One of the easiest ways to revive stale muffins is to warm them in a hot oven. First, spray them with water or pat them with a damp paper towel. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap each muffin in aluminum foil and reheat the whole batch for up to 10 minutes. You can also use this hack to make stale bread edible.
If you're short on time, drizzle a little water over your muffins and place them in a parchment paper bag. Warm them in a preheated oven for 10 seconds or so, and serve immediately. With either method, the water will turn into steam and rehydrate the muffins. The aluminum foil or parchment paper bag will trap moisture, softening the texture. Some people prefer to use grocery bags, but those can leak chemicals into the food or catch fire.
Another option is to heat the muffins in the microwave for 15 seconds after covering them with a damp paper towel. Poke them with a toothpick to check their consistency, then heat them for another 10 to 15 seconds if necessary. As an alternative, bring a pot of water to a simmer and hold each muffin over the steam for about 60 seconds with tongs or another utensil so you don't burn yourself. The steam will restore the moisture, resulting in a soft, fluffy texture.
How To Keep Your Muffins Fresh For Longer
Most baked goods, including muffins, lose moisture and become dry sooner or later. To keep them fresh for longer, store them in a plastic container lined with paper towels. Cover them with a tea towel and a lid, and then store them in the pantry or fridge. The towels will absorb excess moisture and prevent your muffins from getting soggy.
Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to prevent moisture loss. Your best bet is to wrap each muffin in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and then freeze the entire batch. As a rule of thumb, keep your muffins in a cool, dry place away from heat and sunlight.
Last but not least, think outside the box and use leftover muffins to make other desserts. For example, you can turn them into crumbles and then use them as a crunchy topping for puddings, parfaits, or ice cream. Another option is to mix them with melted butter to make a crust for pies or cheesecakes. If you're craving tiramisu, substitute stale muffins for ladyfingers and then layer them with mascarpone, coffee, cocoa powder, and other ingredients. For a quick dessert, crumble the muffins and cover them with chocolate mousse or fruit compote. Refrigerate for an hour or so, and enjoy.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.