Where do some of the best recipes come from?

I started paying attention to “back of the box” recipes when I covered the baking contests Hershey’s sponsors at the Pennsylvania Farm Show each year. Hershey’s has a ton of awesome recipes on their website, like the peanut butter paisley brownies I make for special occassions.

Last week, it was my turn to bring the goods for our weekly staff meeting, and I decided to make muffins. When I pulled out the flour to make another recipe I found online, I saw the sour cream blueberry muffin recipe on the side of the bag. I decided to swap Greek yogurt for the sour cream and chocolate chips for the blueberries and … wow. I had half of one when it came out of the oven, then took the rest to work and didn’t have any more.

But then I couldn’t stop thinking about them, and it was the weekend, and …

I tend to beat the bejeezus out of any sort of dough or batter, but you can’t do that with muffins. I combined the ingredients until everything was just wet.

And then this emerged from the oven.

When I made them for us, I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup. I like muffins to taste like muffins, not naked cupcakes.

Hello Kitty cupcake wrappers are optional.

Printable recipe

A few weeks ago, I picked up a few old cookbooks at an estate sale — one was compiled by members of a church in 1985, and the other is the 1973 edition of “What’s Cooking, Doc?” which was put together the Florida Medical Association’s women’s auxiliary — and there are so many old-fashioned Southern recipes in them, and none of them are complicated.  A former editor recently sent me that newspaper’s holiday recipe insert, and there are some great ideas in it, too.

I wouldn’t make most of the dishes for us for a regular weeknight meal, but you can’t beat these simple old recipes if you’re entertaining, cooking for a potluck, etc.

What’s your favorite back-of-the-box recipe?

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