How to Master Small Batch Baking with Toaster Ovens

Have you ever wanted to create a delicious, warm, home-cooked snack, but didn’t want to use your oven?

Maybe it’s too warm to turn it on and heat up the whole house. Maybe you want to cut down on power usage. Maybe there’s a part broken inside of your unit.

Or maybe, you just wanted to make a small plate of cookies and couldn’t justify using the oven for such a small portion.

Whatever your reason, there’s no need to worry. You can still bake the satisfying foods you and your family crave, right from the convenience of your toaster oven!

The key?  Baking your goodies in smaller batches means that you’re free to use a smaller appliance — one that uses less energy, emits less heat, and gets the job done quicker than you thought possible.

Curious to learn more? Read on for some of our favorite toaster oven recipes and tips on how to master this mini wonder!

Start With the Sweet Single-Portion

We get it. Sometimes, you just want something warm and gooey to sink your teeth into. That doesn’t necessarily mean you want to measure, mix, and pour the ingredients to make an entire dozen cookies or box of cake mix.

Sometimes, just a single piece will do. In this case, you definitely shouldn’t have to worry about turning on your oven.

One of our favorite toaster oven recipes is the personal brownie bite.

Let’s navigate the basics of this universal favorite, learning a bit about toaster oven cooking along the way!

Here are the steps:

1. Find and Organize Your Equipment and Ingredients

Toaster ovens are obviously smaller and more compact than your traditional oven. That said, your favorite cookie sheet or beloved cupcake pan might not fit.

Many toaster ovens will come with a small baking pan when you purchase them.

However, if your model doesn’t include such accessories, or if you’ve had it a while and have simply misplaced them, don’t worry. There are plenty of mini baking pans available to buy, both online and at the store.

In addition, personal ramekins make excellent alternatives to pans. They’re especially useful when you’re making a dish that you can really dig into with a spoon — like a brownie bite!

Before you begin creating your recipe, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got all your equipment handy and accessible, as well as all your ingredients portioned out.

This makes an already simple process even simpler by ensuring you aren’t running around the kitchen looking for that one tool or spice you need!

For the most part, it isn’t wise to take a larger recipe and simply divide it to find the portions you need for a single serving. You may end up with odd combos of ingredients, such as 1/6 of an egg yolk, that just won’t work.

Instead, save your sanity and pick up a cookbook designed for single servings, or simply browse the web for some inspiration!

2. Heat Your Oven and Prep Your Food

With all of your equipment and ingredients prepared, it’s now time to get to work on the first part: Preheating your oven and starting any food prep work (like melting butter).

For the mini brownie bite, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of butter, and the toaster oven should be set to 350 degrees.

A fun little tip to try when trying out some toaster oven recipes?

If your recipe calls for melted butter, you don’t have to worry about using another appliance (your microwave) in addition to the toaster oven you’re already using.

Instead, simply place the butter in a mini pan and place it on top of the toaster oven while it’s pre-heating.

Go ahead and give it a try, we’ll wait.

Magic, right? As the toaster oven warms up inside, its surface becomes warm as well, and that’s all the heat you need to turn that butter into a delicious, warm sauce that’s ready for the next step!

3. Mix and Bake Your Treat

Like many baked treats, a majority of toaster oven recipes call for you to prepare the dry ingredients first, then mix in the wet ingredients.

Here is where one of the main differences arises between cooking with toaster ovens versus traditional ovens.

When you’re working with larger batches of ingredients to be heated in a traditional oven, your favorite stand or hand-held electric mixer will work perfectly, as it’s able to evenly distribute everything and mix to the right consistency.

Yet, smaller batches must be handled more delicately. Working a few ingredients in a large mixer can make your item super dense and difficult to chew.

Instead, we recommend stirring everything by hand to ensure a moist treat that isn’t over-mixed.

For the brownie bite, you’ll need two tablespoons of flour (self-rising), two tablespoons of brown sugar, one tablespoon of sugar, and one tablespoon of cocoa powder.

Mix these dry ingredients in a small bowl until there are no clumps and everything is combined.

Remember that butter you melted in Step 2? Go ahead and brush a little bit onto your pan, then pour the rest into a small glass bowl. Mix it with one egg yolk, one tablespoon of cold coffee (or water), and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Then, gently mix your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and you’re ready to fill up your pan! Top your creation with a tablespoon of something crunchy (like walnuts), and pop it into the toaster oven.

4. Sit Back and Wait

Here’s something to remember about toaster oven recipes: Even though you’re working with a smaller amount of ingredients and creating a smaller product, your cooking times will be similar to those you’re used to for larger treats.

The only catch? While cooking times are generally the same, your smaller batch items might get done a little faster than they would in a traditional oven.

That’s the glory of that little see-through window most toaster ovens are equipped with. You can easily check the progress of what you’re baking and can pull it out quickly if it’s getting too dark.

For the brownie bite, bake for 15-20 minutes (less if you like gooey brownies, more if you want them a little more firm), let it cool and enjoy!

Break the Mold: Unusually Delicious Toaster Oven Recipes

While the personal brownie bite is hard to beat, it’s definitely not the only treat you can make in your toaster oven! There are plenty of other toaster oven recipes sure to delight even the pickiest eater.

From honey-glazed chicken to broiled grapefruit and everything in between, if you can dream it, chances are your toaster oven can make it.

You can even make a tortilla pizza, just by spreading pizza sauce over a tortilla, topping it with cheese and toppings, and toasting it on the spot. Easier than ordering delivery!

Wrapping It Up: Cooking Faster and Quicker with Your Toaster Oven

Now that you’ve got a few toaster oven recipes up your sleeve, we bet that tiny appliance on your counter looks better than ever before.

Looking to buy a new toaster oven or just want to learn more about how to use yours? Be sure to check out our toaster oven reviews and handy toaster oven information.

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