Perfect Playdate: PB & J Muffins!

I visit our local dollar store about once a week. It’s hard for me, because I love to support Canadian made things, and more importantly, local, artisans who make beautiful things, but most times (living on one income), we have to save where we can. Sometimes, when I am in the dollar store (I consider this an “outing”… sad, I know), I take my time and browse through the books to see if there is something interesting for the kids and once in a while, I’ll find a gem. I got Baking Kids Love for $3 and when I realized how good it was, I went back to get a copy for everyone I knew. I think I must have gotten the only one, because when I went back, they were gone. I bought it based on the cover some of the recipes I saw inside (with beautiful colour photographs). Once I see more than one thing I want to make in a cookbook, (and if it’s reasonable) I will get it or borrow it from the library. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that this is a Sur la Table cookbook which was why the quality was so high. And the recipes are a) kid friendly for eating and b) kid friendly for making. I give this book a high standard rating because you can’t beat the price (if you can find it in your dollar store too) for the quality you are getting: tested recipes with high-colour pictures for almost each recipe.

If you are hosting a playdate anytime soon and need a quick-to-bake snack for the little ones (and parents too!) try these muffins. They were simple to make and chances are you already have most of the ingredients in your cupboard. I used natural peanut butter which has a lot of natural oil in it so I think my muffins were probably a bit denser (but still moist and tasty) than the regular peanut butter would yield. With these muffins and a glass of milk, playdate snack stress is off (just make sure children do not have nut-allergies).

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Step-by-Step, PB & J Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 12 tsp of your favourite jam (I used homemade strawberry)

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1. Line a muffin tin with liners. This recipe will make 12 muffins. Preheat your oven to 375F and ensure that the rack is in the centre.

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2. Sift together your flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk until combined, set aside.

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3. In a medium pot over medium heat, put butter, milk and brown sugar together and heat until the butter is melted and it is hot and steamy, mixing regularly.
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4.  Turn off the heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the egg and whisk until combined. 20121017-120125.jpg

5. Add the peanut butter mixture to the flour mixture and, using a spatula, mix gently until all of the ingredients are combined. 20121017-120137.jpg

6. Fill each muffin cup with one scoop of batter (about 1/3 of the way up). 20121017-120151.jpg

7. Top with 1 tsp of jam. 20121017-120201.jpg8. Then top the muffins with more batter, trying to cover the jam as much as possible. My jam was very runny so this was almost impossible. Bake at 375F for about 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let sit in the pan for another 10 minutes then transfer to a rack. These are delicious fresh out of the oven or warmed up the next day with a big glass of milk.

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