Here's another tasty, easy seasonal treat! I got this recipe from friends at church, Jon and Shea. (Whose daughter, incidentally, is promised as a bride for my son.)
A little disclaimer: one of my least favorite things in life is pumpkin pie. Pumpkin anything, really. So I first tasted these muffins just to be polite. Jon and Shea are my friends (and perhaps more importantly, fellow Waiting for Guffman fans), so I didn't want to be rude about their baked goods, even though I knew these muffins they made had pumpkin in them. More confusingly to me, I had been told by one person that they were pumpkin muffins, but then Jon himself told me that some of the muffins were spice and some were carrot. Huh?
I still didn't understand, but then I tasted the "carrot" pumpkin muffins. They were good. Really good. Dense, moist, flavorful...they had all the hallmarks of a perfect muffin. The next day, at a meeting at church, I tried the "spice"pumpkin muffins. Hey, I still didn't really get it, but I didn't care. A good muffin is a good muffin, no matter what it's called or what's in it.
I finally broke down and got the 411 from Jon. The muffins are really easy, he told me. You just combine a box of cake mix, a can of pumpkin, and water.
Suddenly things became clear.
Later that week, I went to the store to buy canned pumpkin (because heretofore, canned pumpkin had never had a purpose in my pantry) and a spice cake mix, and whipped some of these up for Abe. He ate three for breakfast the next morning.
So here's Jon and Shea's recipe...
1 box cake mix of your choice (carrot, yellow, and spice apparently work very well--I've also heard that chocolate works great, too)
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling--just plain pumpkin)
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin, and *the amount of water called for on the cake mix box.
Portion into a muffin pan whose cups have been greased or lined with muffin papers. A 1/4 c. measuring cup works perfectly for this task and creates uniformly-sized muffins.
Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Immediately remove from pan to a cooling rack.
I'm not a frosting girl, myself, and wouldn't normally put frosting on a muffin, but the carrot variety are quite good with a cream cheese frosting.
Yield: approx. 20 muffins