Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Another reason to fall in love with fall? Pumpkin!
I use the word love A LOT when describing foods, recipes, baking, and cooking. I sincerely mean it and although I may overuse the word, it really is one of the best ways to describe the things that make my taste buds happy. Pumpkin is one of those things. (I promise to use my thesaurus and expand my blogger vocabulary  from now on. That way, I won't bore the few readers I have.)

I adore (see that was different) pumpkin so much, I feel like 'Bubba' on Forest Gump when he expresses his love of shrimp, only my obsession is pumpkin.  You can make pumpkin bars, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin granola, pumpkin cake, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin puree... the list is endless!! I will stop at pumpkin muffins, because this recipe is well worth a blog.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


To prepare the filling:
Combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to the center of a 12" piece of wax paper. Now, put the two ends of the wax paper together and gently press the cream cheese mixture towards the closed end using the flat edge of a baking sheet or ruler until it forms a log about 1 inch in diameter. Then, place mixture in freezer for a minimum of 2 hours.

To make the muffins:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; and mix together with fork.  In another bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. While mixing, slowly add in the dry ingredients until fully blended.

To make the topping:
Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

Fill each muffin well with about a tablespoon of batter. Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

I honestly cannot describe the aroma these little puppies created in my kitchen! It's was heavenly! I couldn't resist and only waited about 3 minutes before I took a bite. Be careful though, that cream cheese center was quite hot! The middle was ooey and gooey, and the muffin... oh so pumpkiny! One of my closest friends, Mrs. Munson, said they were, "To die for!" I sure hope you think the same!

Source: An exact replica of a recipe from: Annie's Eats; originally from Bake Space

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