The picture doesn't do it justice. Just trust me on this.
I was trying to decide what my first recipe should be. The one I am probably asked about more than any other is the pumpkin muffin recipe. I got this from a co-worker who got it from a classroom parent who shared it (and some muffins) with her. Since my first bite, I was hooked. I LOVE these muffins. We eat them at least every other week, if not more often. I try to always have the ingredients (3...just 3 ingredient!) on hand for when that mood strikes. The older two will eat them when I make them and like them fine. But it is my younger two who actually beg me to make them and then will eat them until there are none left. I am sure they are healthy, right? Pumpkin is good for you...
Here is the recipe.
Did I mention there are three ingredients?
The ingredients are one can of pumpkin, one box of a spice cake mix, and one bag of cinnamon chips.
I pick up one or two cans of pumpkin any time I see it at the store. Did you know that last year there was a pumpkin shortage? It was scary. I thought we might be without pumpkin muffins for a few weeks. I was even willing to try to learn how to can pumpkin myself, grow them in the backyard if necessary. Thankfully a few friends found cans for me, and then we had a really good crop last year. So now I have a shelf of pumpkin. Just in case. And I have a renewed interest in farming and agriculture current events so it won't be a surprise to me next time.
The spice cake mix? I just buy the generic version. I mean, store brand. It doesn't really matter. The key is you are just using the mix itself. You aren't adding the cake ingredients (like eggs or oil). Just that powdery mix.
And finally the cinnamon chips. They are the toughest to find depending on where you live. I am VERY thankful that my favorite grocery store Harp's sells them. (To be upfront, my daddy works for that store :) If you don't have a Harp's in the area, go to the Hershey's website and look up hard to find products. Look for cinnamon chips. I know you can order them on Amazon and some other websites too. I have had friends substitute chocolate chips, but really the cinnamon chips make the muffin to me...
Final note: I don't always use a whole bag of cinnamon chips. I have used half the bag and sometimes even a little less than that. My kids don't seem to notice a difference. So that is one way to get more bang for your buck. Stretch out the chips.
So what do you do now?
Go ahead and turn the oven on to 350.
Dump all three ingredients in a bowl. Then start mixing. This is the tough part. It is not easy to mix. It is very dry at first. Honestly, I "smear" the pumpkin with a spatula until the cake mix gets moist with it. Once that happens, it gets much easier though it is very thick.
Next, spray either a regular muffin tin (or mini muffin tin) or line with muffin/cupcake liners. I use the liners. It is SO much easier to clean up afterward and they don't really stick that much. I won't even tell you how many muffin/cupcake liners I have on hand. Just know that if you are ever in a bind, I have plenty to share in about any pattern or holiday theme you are looking for. They are just fun to buy and they are great little gifts (like in my stocking).
Then I use the cookie scooper (see picture below). I used to try a spoon but then it would stick and I would be frustrated. The scooper works MUCH better for me now. :) I just put scoops into the tin until about even with the pan. For mini muffins, one scoop works. For regular muffins, usually it takes about two. I will tell you that this makes a lot. I can easily get 18 regular muffins or one large pan of mini muffins plus 6 regular. If you ever want an easy teacher gift, get up early one morning and make these...they will feed many.
After you have finished filling the tins, stick the muffin pan(s) in the oven. After about 30 minutes check on them. If they look pretty set, then take them out. Give them just a couple minutes to cool off, then enjoy. Oh, and they taste just as good re-heated in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
You can always add extra ingredients (nuts, raisins, dates, etc) and some friends have even added a topping (like a glaze). But I am a simple girl. 3 ingredients. No more, no less. :)
Here is a shortened version of the recipe without all of my ad lib...
1 can pumpkin
1 box spice cake mix
1 bag cinnamon chips
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Pour ingredients into a bowl and stir until moist.
3. Line or grease or spray muffin pans (the size of your choice).
4. Scoop or spoon "batter" into the tins until flush with the pan.
5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.