Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

I love all things pumpkin, so much so that it makes me a little odd because everyone in Trader Joes can literally hear my squeals of joy when I see all the seasonal pumpkin products on their shelves. But I'm sure that I'm not alone; there must be a huge fan base which is why all these pumpkin products fly off the shelves around this time of year. I especially love making my own pumpkin things because I get that sense of personal accomplishment. In high school, I once tried a pumpkin cream cheese muffin from Starbucks and became obsessed. I went home and googled how to make it, found a random copycat recipe, and broke out the kitchen toys. But the results were a disaster. 

The key to a successful cream cheese filled muffin is the texture of the cream cheese filling, which requires preparing a filling in advance and freezing it. I didn't do this back then and the resulting filing was gummy and overcooked. I ate the muffins anyways because I'm a glutton, but because of this, I was terrified of baking with cream cheese. I finally gathered the courage to try duping these muffins the other day. And my god, the texture was spot on this time around.

Prepare the filling first! Whip together 4oz softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Cut some plastic wrap and make a log of cream cheese filling down the middle of the wrap, then roll up and refrigerate until firm.

While the filling is firming up, make the batter. Mix together the wet ingredients: 1/2 cup oil, 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup pumpkin puree.

Add the dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Mix well.

Line a cupcake tin. Cut the cream cheese log into 12 pieces. Add a dollop of batter into each cup with just enough to cover the bottom of each cup. Add a piece of cream cheese, then cover with more batter until the cream cheese is completely covered. Each cup should be around 3/4 full.

Prepare the streusel topping. Mix 3 Tbsp flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp softened butter. Sprinkle some on top of each muffin, then pop the entire tray of muffins into a preheated 350F oven.

This is what they should look like fresh out of the oven after 20-25 minutes.

I cut this one open when it was still piping hot, and the insides were practically steaming. Mmmm.

Source: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (halved)
Would I make these again? Definitely

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