Baking on a Fall Day

By: Abbie Kilgore

If there was one flavor to describe fall, I think many would agree on this one: pumpkin. Pumpkin has seemed to monopolize fall trends in scents, food, and especially coffee (pumpkin spice latte, of course). At the risk of sounding #basic, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that pumpkin deserves its place at the top of fall flavors. What sounds better than curling up next to a fire with a cozy blanket, a good movie, and none other than your favorite pumpkin dish on a chilly day? Let’s be honest, the answer is: nothing sounds better.

Now that I’ve got you on board with our fall favorite, I’m going to introduce you to the world’s easiest-to-make muffin: the pumpkin chocolate chip muffin. If you need a cheap crowd pleaser that takes very little time to make, this is your muffin.

Here’s what you need:
1 box of spice cake mix (I usually use the Duncan Hines brand…it’s the cheapest)
1 bag of chocolate chips (dark chocolate is my favorite because it just seems a little healthier)
1 can of pumpkin
And that is it. No eggs, no oil, just those three things.

Here’s what you do:
First, preheat the oven to 350 F. Next, pour the cake mix into a mixing bowl. Then you are going to add the pumpkin. Now, I’ve found that when you pour out the entire can in with the dry cake mix, mixing takes longer. It is easier to add a couple of spoonfuls at a time, while stirring the mixture. Another tip is to use a spoon for the mixing, not a whisk. Whisks like to collect the mix in the middle of the wires, and keeps the whisk from, well, whisking. Finally, it’s time to add the chocolate chips. About a third to a half of the bag is plenty. But feel free to add as many or as few as you’d like (in my opinion, when dealing with chocolate, more is never a bad thing).  Lastly, the trickiest part of the muffin is the time it takes to cook them. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes. Sometimes 10 minutes is plenty, sometimes you need an extra 5 minutes. I usually bake for 10 minutes, and check the muffins with a fork. If there’s batter on the fork when you pull it out of the muffin, bake for a couple more minutes.

Then you’re done! Enjoy with a good cup of coffee and your favorite Julia Roberts movie.

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