Saturday, November 19, 2011

Busy Cooking: Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Hidden Cream Cheese Filling

I had these muffins bookmarked for quite some time.  I love any type of cake or muffin that involves a filling.  I finally got around to making them a few weeks ago.  My kids DEVOURED them!  I thought they were delicious, but wasn't going to post about them because they involve three steps.  Then, I made them to take to a mom's group one morning.  Several people commented how good they were and then my friend's husband even came up to me at bootcamp and said he really liked them.  With all those comments, how could I not share the recipe because these truly are delicious muffins.  I'm thinking about making a batch for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.  They would be a great little appetizer on any Thanksgiving table, if you're looking for one more treat to share with your guests.

This recipe was found on Brown Eyed Baker.

Note:  To get the filling to survive baking, it is frozen ahead of time.  It is recommended to freeze it at least 2 hours before baking- I found making it the night before is easy and cuts down on prep time.

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling:

Oven: 350

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

1) In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap, about 18 inches long.  Pour the cream cheese mixture in a straight line on the plastic wrap, leave room on the ends.  Form into a long skinny log, about 12 inches long, wrap up tightly in the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least two hours.

2) Toast pecans in oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool, lightly chop.  In a small bowl, lightly mix together pecans, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter to make the streusel.  Set aside.

3) In a large bowl, mix together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

4) In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin, oil, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

5) Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients.  Gently mix together until combined.

6) Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare muffin tins with liners (makes 12 large muffins or 24 mini, plus 5 large).  If you make minis, which I always do, you will get a small sinkhole on the top of the muffin from the cream cheese spreading out because they are so small.

7) Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer, remove it from the plastic wrap and place it on a cutting board.  If making full size muffins, cut it into 12 1 inch pieces, if making minis, cut into 1/2" pieces.

8) Scoop a small amount of batter into the bottoms of the muffin cups.  Press one piece of cream cheese into each muffin cup on top of the batter.  Scoop more batter on top of the cream cheese to cover it.

9) Sprinkle tops of batter with streusel and press it down lightly.

10) Bake 18-22 minutes for large muffins and 14 -17 minutes for the minis. Cool and enjoy.

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