There’s something about fall and the beginning of a new school year that makes us think of fresh starts. A new box of crayons, new jeans and shoes, a new dance class or soccer team.
For the cook in the family, it means thinking once more of early morning breakfasts the kids can eat in a hurry (that’s my house at least) and something to fill the lunch box and kids’ tummies!
I always look back to my own school days and remember how Mama froze pimiento cheese sandwiches on white bread, cut in half and wrapped in foil. I’d take half a sandwich to school for snack, all thawed and ready for me when it was time for morning snack in my classroom at Vinson-Bynum School. I still remember the taste of that cold pimiento cheese Daddy probably made. Yum!
I never did that specific thing for my children, but I did many things to make the snacks or lunches they took to school more appetizing. Don’t get me wrong; there were plenty of days they took a peanut butter sandwich and a snack bag of whatever convenience food we had on hand. But there were also days they took homemade granola bars, muffins or trail mix. Sunday evenings were usually my time to cook these treats for the week. I felt such a sense of accomplishment to have a pasta salad ready for Anna’s Thermos or ham and cheese muffins for Robert’s breakfast.
My younger child is in college now, and her brother has graduated and started a career. But when I saw a recipe recently for peanut butter muffins, I immediately thought about how perfect it would be for either breakfast on the go or in lunch box (if there are no peanut allergies to contend with!)
I ran across the recipe one afternoon while reading through some old magazines. This recipe was from a 1998 issue of Quick Cooking.
I had all of the ingredients for this simple recipe, so I made it, with only minor changes. The main thing I did was add a handful of chocolate chips to half the batter. I left the other plain. Both versions are very good, but I know my husband and I preferred the ones with chocolate chips!
I really liked these simple muffins. Next time I make them, I’ll probably make them with a mix of whole wheat and plain flour, and I will definitely put chocolate chips in all of them, or maybe a mix of chocolate and peanut butter chips.
These muffins are delicious straight out of the oven while they are still warm. But when you eat them the next day, pop them in the microwave for maybe 10-15 seconds, just long enough to warm those chocolate chips!
Peanut Butter Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Jelly, optional
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until muffins test done. Melt remaining butter; brush over the tops of muffins. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack. Serve with jelly if desired. Yield: 1 dozen.
Nutritional facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 221 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 298 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein.
* I used self-rising flour and omitted the baking powder and salt; next time I will work in whole wheat flour. I also added a few chocolate chips and used a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar. I didn’t add the cinnamon sugar and butter to the top of my muffins.