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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

pumpkin cream cheese muffins

Mr Pumpkin has finally got the better of me and I am now ‘pumpkinised’. It’s true, for the last couple of weeks I have been avoiding pumpkins with a steely determination. Turning a blind eye to those ‘come hither’ looks they give whenever I glance their way. Shaking off their wanting stares – looking all so handsome and stacked and orange – my favourite colour (I tell you, it’s been really hard). So, today I gave in – I couldn’t resist the ‘come on honey, cook me’ wink any longer.

Now my kitchen bench is covered in pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. My stove has two large pots of pumpkin pieces cooking away, from which I will make a batch of pumpkin puree to use for some very pumpkiny treats in the lead up to Thanksgiving.

I was on the lookout for a plain pumpkin muffin recipe but when I saw these I couldn’t turn away from the addition of cream cheese. I eventually adapted two different recipes and voila! some delicious, wonderfully spiced treats to have with your morning coffee. Of course the cream cheese filling is just the best and then there’s the crumble on top, which is also outstanding…

Mr Pumpkin you promised magic, and magic you delivered – where do we go from here?

Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons. ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil

Crumble
3 tablespoons toasted and chopped pecans (toast at 350 for 10 minutes)
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Filling
Combine the cream cheese and icing sugar and mix until smooth.  Transfer  to a piece of wax or parchment paper and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Roll plastic wrap tightly around the log (already in the wax paper) and freeze for around 2 hours.

Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350f/176c.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  Combine the flour, baking soda and spices.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil, mix until blended.  Mix through the dry ingredients until just combined.

Crumble
Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon, add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a fork until the mixture is coarse and crumbly, add the pecans and mix loosely with a fork.

Assemby
Cut the cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Fill each muffin case with around 2 tablespoons of batter.  Place a slice of the cream cheese onto the batter in the muffin cases, followed by a spoonful from the remaining batter ensuring the cream cheese is covered completely.  Sprinkle each muffin with the crumble and bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Notes: I opted to make large muffins and I got 14 out of the quantities listed here. Aside from dividing the cream cheese into 14 segments there was nothing else to change, other than the cooking time which was 30 minutes.

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