Streusel for everyone!

By Hannah Walhout
Updated August 21, 2017

Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple is back this week with a bold claim: “The best muffins are covered in streusel.” However, according to our favorite Mad Genius, “there is a problem: if you get the streusel all over the pan, the minute it hits that hot oven it will start to caramelize.” The potential pitfalls of streusel—which, though delicious, is essentially a very burnable mix of flour, sugar and butter—might keep some people from putting forth the extra effort. Get too messy with the topping, says Justin, and “you literally have a hot mess on your hands.”

Luckily, this is what Mad Geniuses are for. The answer is a simple paper funnel. Justin says to take a paper cup—like the kind you’d find near a coffee machine at your office—and cut out the bottom with a small serrated knife. Hold the cup over your muffin tin, smaller end down, and your crackerjack paper funnel will allow you to target your toppings without spillage. In the end, you’ll be able to get a full tin of “beautifully streuseled” muffins (Justin’s term)—every single time. Bonus: your pan stays clean, your streusel doesn’t go to waste, and there will be no burning sugar to set off your smoke alarm.

We can think of a few other ways to use this hack, if you’re not baking streusel-topped muffins on the regular (though you really should be). A tool like this is always helpful for transferring flour, grains and other messy substances from one container to another. Pouring liquids into a cup or water bottle becomes a lot less treacherous with a funnel. Use it to streusel up bars, cakes, pies...and, of course, the possibilities are practically endless with muffins.

For more kitchen hacks, check out the rest of Food & Wine’s Mad Genius Tips.