The Freshman Cook: Back To School Chocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins get their name from the fact that they are the first home baked item, of this school year, that I am sending to my son who is away at college. I love sending him homemade goodies, and I always try to include his favorite muffins when I do. These muffins are adapted from the book The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn.  All the recipes I have tried are fabulous and I have made several of them multiple times. This recipe was originally a cake, but lends itself well to the muffin category. Although I love creating desserts and meals from scratch, there is nothing wrong with using available products to make things easier and faster. Especially when they are this good! Here’s what you need: 1 Bar ( 4 ounces) German Chocolate 1 package (18.25 ounces) of Butter Recipe cake mix (I used Duncan Hines ) 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix 1 cup milk 1 cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Set up your muffin tin by putting your baking cups in the pan so you will be ready when your batter is. Break the German chocolate bar into pieces and use a food processor or hand grater, like I did, to grate the chocolate.

Put the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, and eggs into your mixing bowl.You are not making the cake according to the box directions, so ignore what the back of the box says.

Blend all your ingredients on low, for 1 minute, then stop your mixer and cleanly scrape down your bowl. Add your grated chocolate. Turn your mixer up to medium speed. Mix for two minutes, scraping the sides if you need to. Fold in the chocolate chips. By gently stirring the chocolate chips into your batter by hand, you are avoiding the possibility of breaking some of the chips.
Plus, hand mixing the chips ensures an even distribution of the chips into your muffin batter.
Spoon your batter into your baking cups. Place in the oven for about 17 minutes. Stick a toothpick in your tallest muffin and check to see if any batter comes out on the toothpick. If it does, continue to cook for 1 minute, and check again. Continue this until your toothpick comes out clean. (Invest in a box of toothpicks, you will need several because you use a new toothpick each time)
Once you have determined the muffins are done, pull them out of the oven. Let them cool on a rack for about 5-10 minutes. You need them to firm up a little. If you take them out of the tin now, they will be too hot and too soft, and you are risking smashing them.
After 5-10 minutes, take them out of the muffin tin to cool completely.

Enjoy your back to school muffins!!!

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