What’s a girl to do while trapped inside during a hurricane? Well first make some of the best chocolate chip cookies, some buffalo chicken sliders, drag the hubs into the kitchen to make tortillas, and finally make these muffins. I am going to let you in on a little secret, calories don’t count during natural disasters. Now you know so next time you have one, you will be prepared. It was totally okay of me to eat everything mentioned above, plus plow through some Halloween candy.
These muffins have been on my to make list for ages, I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them. We had some leftover pumpkin from some french toast (recipe coming soon) and some leftover cream cheese while trapped in our house, I call that destiny. I had to make them over Hurricane Sandy weekend. They are everything that I imagined and more. My swim coach used to make pumpkin spice muffins for my family all the time around this year, I would pop them in my mouth like they were going out of style. So these muffins have a bit of nostalgia for me.
The pumpkin spice muffin pairs perfectly with the sweet cream cheese filling, the crumbly topping on top was the icing on the cake. These take a little bit longer than the average muffin to make, but if you don’t have time on your hands, you can make the crumb topping and cream cheese filling in advance. Believe me when I tell you that they are well worth the effort.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil*
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
What you’ll do:
Prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.
To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, the dry ingredients flour through the baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the wet ingredients: eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
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 a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to use, if not using immediately.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well, push down slightly. 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.
*From what I have read, you can substitute half of the vegetable oil with unsweetened applesauce to cut back on some of the fat content. I have not personally tried this yet.
Source: Annie’s Eats