I love anything that I can make mini. Size does matter, when you’re talking finger foods. Anybody can make a cheeseburger, cook it, throw it on a bun and slap condiments on it. It takes a creative thinker to make that cheeseburger in a muffin tin, bake it, and add a few toppings and serve. Today we’re going to work on making a more creative burger.
The recipe I found called for a roll of pre-made biscuits, but being lazy I refused to go to the grocery and buy them. It was easier to use a simple biscuit recipe and have done with it in minutes. I rolled the dough thinly, cut out circles, pressed them into the tins and set them aside.
My cutter was about 3″ across and spread about halfway up the sides of the muffin cups. You could cut the rounds bigger and make the cups higher, but they get pretty messy to eat by hand then. Keeping the cups halfway up the sides was easiest to eat.
Using my fingers I stretched the biscuit dough up the sides and made them all uniform and pretty.
Earlier I had chopped onions and put them into a skillet with a little olive oil and fried them until they were nice and caramelized, about 30 minutes on low heat. I set them aside in a dish.
I then browned up a pound of ground beef, making sure it was browned on one side before I flipped and chopped it into smaller pieces. The flavor’s in the brown, as we’ve learned from the chefs! When the beef was done, I added some Worcestershire, salt and pepper to season the meat then removed it from the heat.
Starting with the beef, I layered a heaping tablespoon into each biscuit cup. Then I layered the onions over the beef. Finally I layered shredded cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack over the top then put the tins into the oven and baked them for 20 minutes.
They came out so cute, all browned on the edges of the biscuit cups and the cheese was melted and spread over the tops. I sprinkled a thin layer of dill pickle relish over the top, then a layer of diced tomatoes. I topped the cups with a swirl of ketchup and another of mustard, and served.
We thought these were so good, and so fun. It was like fine dining, at a burger joint. We devoured them warm for dinner but they were even great the next day leftover, cold, for lunch. Next time I’ll double the recipe so we can freeze a few to microwave for quick lunches.
I also have ideas for adding new condiments such as diced avocado or shredded lettuce. Even sprinkling crispy bits of bacon for a bacon cheeseburger cup would be tasty. Ooh, how about chopped spinach in them? Different kinds of cheeses like Gouda or Swiss would make a nice change-up. Or making a variety of cups so we can try many flavors at once would be fairly easy. These were so easy we’ll be making them again. They would be a nice winter way of having your burgers without a grill.
Mini Hamburger Cups
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1# lean or extra lean ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese; shredded (or cheese of your choice)
1 recipe buttermilk biscuits (see below)
In a skillet, add oil and onion, frying over low heat until the onions are brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
Heat a second skillet until hot, then add the ground beef, searing it until it is browned. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break the meat up into finer pieces, stirring it occasionally. When you’re happy with the browness of the meat, add the Worcestershire, salt and pepper, then remove the skillet from the heat.
While the meat is frying, prepare the biscuit cups using the recipe below.
When ready, layer the meat into the cups, dividing it out. Layer the onions next. Top with shredded cheese of your choice.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes, until the cups are browned around the edges and the cheese is melted.
Top with diced tomatoes, dill pickle relish, ketchup and mustard. Serve warm.
Makes 12 regular-sized muffin cups
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
7 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in thin slices
¾ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare muffin tin (12 count) with cooking spray.
Whisk dry ingredients together. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until it is coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and stir in buttermilk, just until combined.
Turn dough onto a floured board or counter and carefully roll out into 1/2 “ thickness. Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out 2 ½ to 3 inch rounds. Press rounds into muffin tins, forming into seamless cups.
Recipe yields enough for double batch of burger cups (24).