A Lazy Cook's Guide to Baking Pumpkin Bread or Muffins
For the Lazy Chef
Some people are really great cooks and they believe in baking all the time. And then there are people like me. I basically like to eat, but I am not so much a fan of what needs to occur before I can enjoy the meal. I tend to lose track of what I am cooking. I also like to "improvise" with ingredients. Therefore, it is always best if I stick to using store bought mixes when making anything too complex.
If you are like me and are "cooking ability challenged," but you would still like to bake some delicious pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread this holiday season, you can easily achieve this. I am here to tell you about Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix. It is so tasty, everyone will think you used fresh pumpkin and created the bread from scratch. The best part about it, you can impress everyone for Thanksgiving or Christmas when they believe you have suddenly become an awesome cook. They don't need to know the secret unless you tell them.
Get the Mix
The first thing you need to do is obviously buy the Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix from Trader Joe's. If you do not have access to a Trader Joe's grocery store, I am sorry. I feel very bad for you, and quite frankly, you might want to consider moving. Trader Joe's is pretty awesome.
Once you have found the closest Trader Joe's, make sure to get there in October when the Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix first hits the shelves. This is one of Trader's Joe's seasonal products and it sells faster than you can imagine. Don't wait the week before Thanksgiving and believe you will be able to get your hands on this delicious mix. It will be a thing of the past by then. Don't learn that the hard way like I did last year. Now I am one of the customers that is "in the know" about the Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix, and I now hoard some away for later.
The most frustrating aspect of any recipe for me are all the complicated ingredients. The best part of using a mix is you don't have to worry about that. Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix only requires the mix, water, oil, and eggs. Within minutes, you can gather all the ingredients and mix everything together. You don't even need a mixer for this stuff. You can just use a spoon and get the same results.
Also, I learned something new the last time I baked pumpkin muffins with this mix. You can actually add a spoonful of applesauce and it makes everything even more moist! The apple sauce does not overpower the pumpkin flavor at all. Give it a try the next time you are baking pumpkin muffins or bread.
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Just Bake It!
This particular mix bakes A LOT of muffins. If you are taking something in for a work potluck, this would be a good choice. Depending on the size of the muffin foil tins, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix makes about 12 - 16 muffins. I usually just follow the instructions on the box: 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I use the basic "poke it with a toothpick until it looks done" method. That is, of course, unless I forget I am baking (which I'm known to do) and then I just run and take them out of the oven when I smell a faint burning odor.
All of that is OK though because this mix is so great, it even tastes great when the bread or muffins come out a little burnt! You really must try it! Unless you burn it to a total crisp, this really is the best mix for someone who is not the best chef in the world. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.
Also, you might want to top off the muffins or bread with some Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter. It is quite tasty. It is the consistency of apply butter, but with a delicious pumpkin taste. I highly recommend buying both the Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix, as well as the Pumpkin Butter the next time you visit Trader Joe's. Then you can fake out all your friends, co-workers, and family members at the next holiday event with your excellent baking skills.
P.S. No, I do not work for Trader Joe's. I am just a big fan.
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