Snack Time

Summer means more time at home with our youngster. It means having a little helper in the kitchen. And it means something resembling a more organized snack time. So what's a mom with a penchant for all things culinary to do? Have the kid help make PBJ muffins and then have them around when it gets to be snack time:

The peanut butter batter for these muffins is fantastic on its own, but what really makes these a special treat are the pockets of jam hidden within every muffin. What's more, depending on how old and how excited about helping your kids are, every step can involve them. At the least, very young kids can fill the muffin cups with paper liners. If you have a kid with an eye for placement, dropping small dollops of jam in the center of the batter can be a great job to bestow. And, of course, everyone will want to be involved in eating these tasty treats! All that's required is a tall glass of milk and maybe a napkin for any milk mustaches!

You can opt to use whichever kind of jelly, jam, or preserves you want. I opted for the strawberry jam because it was from a batch of freezer jam we'd made together and there's something just wonderful about being able to proudly declare you've made muffins from scratch with homemade jam you made yourself. The youngster seemed pretty tickled about it, too!

PBJ Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups skin milk
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1/2 cup strawberry jam, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-count muffin pans with paper liners. (If you have a little helper, this is a great job for them!)

In the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the first 8 ingredients (all-purpose flour through lemon juice). Begin stirring on the lowest setting and, once combined, turn it to setting 5-6 to thoroughly mix. Add the peanut butter, canola oil, and vanilla extract and mix again until well-combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, place about 2-3 tablespoons of the peanut butter batter into the bottom of each muffin liner. Carefully add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the strawberry jam (you could use other varieties, but we choose this because the youngster helped us make this particular batch of strawberry jam) to the center of each batter-filled muffin cup. (This is also a great job for the little helpers.) Add another heaping tablespoon of the peanut butter batter to the top of the muffin cup, making sure you cover the jam.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. The muffins are done when they spring back when lightly pressed (or use the toothpick method and remember they are filled with strawberry jam!). All the muffins to cool completely before serving.

  • Yields: 24 large muffins
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes