Falling into Fall

How did this happen?  I was just posting about peaches and blackberries.  And now I have made pumpkin muffins.  I promised myself I wouldn't do it.  I would hold onto summer as long as I could, and I didn't understand how some of my friends were excited for pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks.

But it still happened.  I bought two cans of 100% pumpkin puree last time I was at the grocery store.  I kind of didn't think about it until I got home and was like, wait whaaaaa?

I do love fall!  The crisp air, the comfort foods, the cozy sweaters, the lack of humidity.  But I wasn't ready for the transition quite yet.  It's not like I'm going back to school and dreading homework.  My availability doesn't change with the new season.  I guess it's just my fear of change kicking in, haha.  So I'm hoping I can help you all with the transition as well with some intermediate recipes to try.  We're not talking pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and casseroles just yet.  Woah, let's pump the brakes.  But I'll do what I can to hold your hand as we get closer to September 22nd and the actual first day of fall.
So let's start out with something simple: Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins.  One can of pumpkin puree.  One box of spice cake mix.  Done.
These sort of recipes blow up Pinterest, but you totally question their legitimacy.  I tried this last year to some success, and had some ideas on how to tweak to make things better.  Last year, I had read these were cookies.  So, I made them like cookies, and they just reminded me of muffins (or muffin tops I suppose).  They were not crisp and chewy, but cakey, moist and delicious.  Definitely decided these would become muffins this time around.
Second, quite often, two ingredients means simple and elegant.  But in this case, I decided a bit of texture change would make these better.  So I threw together a streusel topping and added it to the second pan I baked.  This is enough for your whole batch, even though I only used it on one pan:
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1/4 cup Pecans
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
...pulsed all together in a food processor (I didn't mean to make this such a fine topping, but it tasted good!)
I made one pan of just plain muffins, and one with the topping.  And I suggest doing a quick spritz of Pam in each cupcake liner, it makes them so much easier to eat quickly, haha.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

I didn't take any pictures of the plain muffins, sorry!  But here are the amazing streusel topped muffins!
I can't tell if I liked the simple muffin or the streusel muffins better.  The plain ones felt almost healthy (if you make 24, each muffin has 74 calories, it's not super terrible), but the streusel ones just had a little something extra...  and who can resist??

Ok, we're gonna make it.  Fall is going to be great.  Especially if you have one of these muffins to help you through.

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