Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins.

One of the best parts about fall is baking with pumpkin. In about late August (when it is still 100 degrees here), I start thinking about pumpkin delights. I have a couple of go-to recipes: pumpkin bread (recipe to follow) and fall harvest bread (with diced apples), but I tried a new one this past weekend and had to share -- pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Annie's Eats.

They are delicious! I love cream cheese/powdered sugar frosting. And I also love crumb topping. These muffins have the best of both worlds -- cream cheese filling and a crumb topping. Genius!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins


For the muffins:

3 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

4 eggs

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

For the streusel topping:

½ cup sugar

¼ cup and 1 tsp. flour

4 tbsp. butter, cubed

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon


To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until smooth. Form into a log on plastic wrap or foil, making sure that the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours.

To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

To make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well halfway with batter. Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices. Place a slice in each muffin well. Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

[My cream cheese never hardened in the freezer, so instead of slices, I had dollops that I spooned on top of the batter. They turned out fine, so next time I am not even going to worry about trying to freeze the filling. I also added about a teaspoon of vanilla to the batter.]

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