Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat nonstick 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Option: Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl for topping and set aside.
Blend cereal and milk in large bowl; set aside for 5 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; Mix well.
Whisk pumpkin, egg, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla into softened cereal. Gently fold into flour mixture just until blended. Do not over mix. Spoon 1/3 cup equal amounts of batter into each muffin cup; sprinkle evenly with pecan chips and reserved cinnamon sugar topping.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack 3 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Don't stir muffin batter too much -- over mixing will make the muffins tough. There should be lumps in the batter; these will disappear during baking.