Delicious. That is how I would characterize every Fall food out there. All of the food flavors are comforting and served with a pat of butter. Much like these muffins- full of pumpkin spice flavor, a couple of pats (or 1/2 cup) of butter, and teeming with flavor. They might not be the lightest, but life is meant to be enjoyed, not calorie scrutinized, especially during Fall.
First things first, these muffins were born out of creative restriction. While I was studying for my GMAT, I felt like my Fall life was passing me by. Trader Joe’s was getting their pumpkin flavored everything on the shelves and the barista ladies at work were asking me if I wanted to make my cappuccino a PSL, and here I was studying for an exam, locked indoors, away from every pumpkin treat that was entering the market.
So I rebelled. This past Sunday while I was suffering from an over-studied brain, I pushed my books aside and pulled out my baking dishes, some flour, a can of pumpkin, every Fall spice in my cabinet and got to work melting some butter in lieu of the vegetable oil most muffin/ bread recipes call for. (Personal preference, I don’t like cooking with vegetable oil so I opt for melted butter.)
Secondly, this recipe was concocted on a semi-homemade basis. I used my favorite Fall shelf staple: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread mix. I didn’t feel like pulling out all of the baking dishes, and this was sitting front and center, right next to the brownies, so I opted for a semi-healthy breakfast option instead.
And it felt good. I was beating eggs, creating chemistry when the dry mixture met the wet mixture, and it was nice to finally focus my brain on tasks that I was accustom to, unlike the geometry and slopes I had been studying all day. As an equal opportunist, I didn’t want to let my fresh apples miss out on all the fun, so I diced them up and folded them into the dough before cursing myself for deciding to make muffins when I didn’t have any muffin liners.
Luckily, I always have some parchment paper and made quick work of cutting out the required sizes for my muffin tin liners. Even though the parchment paper was a bit of an extra step, I prefer how the liners didn’t stick to the muffin sides like a traditional muffin liner. The paper peels right off and doesn’t take any of the muffin sides with it.
Long story short, these were gooooood. I was told that I’m not allowed to bring over more than one baked good at a time because these seem to have disappeared within the afternoon that I had brought them by. Can’t blame me, it’s just the chemistry Fall flavors in a compact muffin shape.
- 1 box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread mix
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted (or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 can of fresh pumpkin
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 honey crisp apple, diced
- 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 5 heavy shakes of cinnamon
- 2 shakes of nutmeg
- 2 shakes of allspice
- Oats optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and water until beaten. Slowly add in melted butter, continuing to whisk the mixture.
- Next, slowly add in a half can of pumpkin puree, whisking together until combined.
- Using a spatula, fold in your pumpkin bread mix until combined, being careful not to over work your dough.
- Add in your vanilla bean paste and spices. Finally folding in your diced apple.
- Fill each muffin tin 2/3 of the way full. Place in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Top with oats, powdered sugar, or both; dealers choice.