If you've been sort of ho-hum about all of the pumpkin spice offerings so far this fall and have yet to discover a favorite, wrap your mouth around any one of our top four items and your taste buds are going to light up.  Pumpkin spice peanut butter?  Yes!

My friend Courtney LOVES pumpkin. She eats it, drinks it, and breathes it, and she even hosts a pumpkin potluck party every fall and invites her friends to bring a sweet or savory pumpkin food to try.  She is a pumpkin spice aficionado.   Last year she made some unbelievable sweet pumpkin butter for my daughters and me that we put on everything from toast to muffins to crackers with cream cheese, and it was so good my 8-year old still asks when we're going to have it again.  If pumpkin spice awarded an honorary degree, it would be on Courtney's mantle.

Since I haven't met anyone more qualified to judge the world of pumpkin spice, I asked this queen of the patch to narrow the abundance of pumpkin offerings at the grocery store to the best four. This is what she said.

Four Must-Try Pumpkin-Flavored Items of the Season

Jen Austin

1.  Entenmann's Pumpkin Spice Muffins.  I don't know why they call this a muffin.  It's cake!  It tastes like a little piece of cake.  And we couldn't be happier about it.  This might be the most natural place put pumpkin flavoring -- into a soft muffin that melts in our mouths and tastes like fall.  It's a good thing they put these in packs of five or we might eat a hundred.

Courtney Solstad

2.  Trader Joe's Pumpkin Joe' Joe's Sandwich Cookies.  If you put these on a plate and just look at them, you might think they will taste like peanut butter.  But they are pumpkin to the max.  It's two pumpkin cookies sandwiched together with pumpkin crème filling, and they're just sweet enough without going overboard.  If you have the urge to dunk something into black pumpkin coffee, this might be just the thing.

Courtney Solstad

3.  Peanut Butter & Company's Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter.  This will kick your apples and pretzels up a notch.  Or put it on toast with bananas, or heap it on a teaspoon and eat it right out of the jar.  If it sits next to the Nutella on the pantry shelf, the next time you lock yourself in there to have a moment to yourself you're going to have a big decision to make.  It's good on graham crackers too, and maybe even on top of one of those Trader Joe Joe's cookies.  The possibilities are endless with this one.

Courtney Solstad

4.  Skinny Syrup's Pumpkin Spice Whipped Foam Topping.  Zero calories, zero sugar, gluten-free, and it tastes great?  Yes, please.  It's whipped foam with a pump, and that makes it easy to squirt right on top of a cup of coffee, espresso, or hot chocolate.  And I'm sure it works well pumped straight into the mouth to chase a pumpkin muffin, but I haven't tried that.  Yet.

Here's more great news.  Most of this stuff isn't too perishable, so it can linger on the pantry shelf through Christmas and into 2019, and we don't have to break up with it just because fall ends.

It's a tough job, but we'll continue to do our research and see if we can come up with any other pumpkin spice products that would rival these.  And if you've made some great pumpkin discoveries this fall too, send them to me!

Courtney is a busy mom of four who always finds time for a little fun, and in the name of fall, so should we.  Thanks, Courtney, for helping us navigate the world of pumpkin.