Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Streusel Cream Cheese Muffins

Okay, really? Without mincing words, these little babies reign supreme in all things pumpkin. Like you, I have a constant craving during September, all the way through at least November, for my tongue to touch something with this orange squash delicately baked in it. Pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ice cream.. you know. Pumpkin is ubiquitous during this extraordinarily fun time of the year!

And these pumpkin streusel-topped muffins coming with that extra bonus of cream cheese inside are like the fun it would be to make a BMW drive faster. Not that I've experienced that. But imagination goes far and being absolutely lovely and delish and a really nice change from the common- not boring-but very typical, I'm sorry to add, pumpkin muffin. I am hooked to this recipe here on out. It requires hardly any additional effort compared to other basic pumpkin-loaded treats.

Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Streusel Muffins

{ Recipe directly taken from Annie's Eats}

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:

½ cup sugar

5 tbsp. flour

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ 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, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the 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 until ready to use.

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. 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.

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