Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

                                                           
Ohhhhhhh - this is a WONDERFUL muffin recipe.
Since I'm already a muffin freak, and a cream cheese nut too, how could I not LOOOVE these great muffins! 
I first tasted them at a church ladies meeting, when my very creative friend, Margie, brought them to share.  After I got home, I scoured the internet for the recipe and was thrilled to find it at Annie's Eats.
(along with 225 comments, I dare say!!)

Look at that cream cheese right there in the middle!!!


And the crunchy topping only adds perfection to this seriously delicious & moist muffin.

I love love love all the spices added - they make this muffin sooo perfectly tasty!

Very 'fall-ish' & 'holiday-ish'!

The first time I made them following the directions to a tee - freezing the cream cheese/powdered sugar combination.

The second time I made them, I just put dallops of the soft cream cheese mixture in between the pumpkin layers of dough. 


Either way is OUTTA SIGHT! good.

Give them a try - they freeze nicely too.  But they weren't 'safe' in the freezer for very long.  They make for a great breakfast and start to your day.

I normally tend to stick to simple, few-ingredient recipes, but trust me on this one, this is SOOO worth the extra time to mix these up. 

 Your family will be so thankful you did!


PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS

Filling:
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
(I reduced that amount when I didn't freeze this mixture)

Muffins:

3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tb. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
(Homemade recipe here)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 c. sugar
(I reduced to 1-2/3)
2 c. pumpkin puree
1-1/4 c. vegetable oil
(I used 1/2 c. applesauce, 3/4 c. oil)

Topping:
1/2 c. sugar
5 Tb. all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tb. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare filling: combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl; mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1-1/2" in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, reinforce with a piece of foil.  Lay on a plate and transfer to freezer, chilling atleast 2 hour, or until slightly firm.

To make muffins: preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients, mixing just until blended.

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


To assemble muffins: fill each muffin well with small amount of batter, just enough to cover bottom of the liner (1 - 2 tablespoonsful). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of cream cheese into each muffin well.  Divide remaining batter among muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of topping mixture over each muffin.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. (It's tough to resist, but cream cheese filling gets very hot, so be careful)