Box mixes can be a cheap, no-hassle way to prepare treats for a party, club meeting or just as a quick way to satisfy your sweet tooth. After baking the same thing a couple times, they can start to taste rather … dull. Ordinary. Boring!
Here’s an easy way to update those tired treats by adding a rich, gooey peanut butter or caramel (or both, if you’re daring) center.
Utensils required: spoonula, mixing bowl, teaspoon, muffin tin, oven mitts, measuring cups, paper muffin cups (or cooking spray, but the cups minimize your cleanup time)
1 box of chocolate chip muffin mix (and whatever ingredients it requires — mine called for oil, water and eggs)
1 jar of peanut butter OR 1 bag of soft caramels (you can buy these in the candy aisle of the grocery store, or if you’re feeling really intrepid, you can click this link to try making it yourself. Whatever you do, don’t buy caramel sauce — unless you want sticky muffins that taste as if they’ve been soaking in syrup for a few hours. Yuck.)
1/2 gallon of milk (This is completely optional, but these muffins are so rich that you may want a glass or two to drink with ‘em!)
Time commitment: 10 minutes to prepare, 16-18 minutes to cook (8-9 minutes if you’re making mini-muffins)
1. Follow the box’s instructions for preparing chocolate chip muffins, getting up to the point where the batter has been thoroughly mixed and is ready to pour. (Make sure the chocolate chips have already been added to it.)
2. If you’re using caramels, carefully unwrap each one so they’re ready for adding into the muffins.
3. Fill each cup about halfway with muffin batter. Then, take a teaspoon of peanut butter — or one unwrapped caramel — and place it into the center of the muffin, pushing it down a bit so it’s neatly cushioned within the batter. You’ll probably have to use your finger to gently push the peanut butter off the spoon.
4. Use the spoonula to add just enough batter to cover the caramel/peanut butter center completely. Each muffin cup should be about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.
5. Bake according to the box’s instructions, and let the muffins cool for a few minutes before serving so you don’t burn your tongue biting into them.
Tip: Warm these in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds before serving so the caramel/peanut butter melts a bit.