Let’s chat about muffins, aye?
First things first though-the weather. It affects most everything; your mood, your attire, and your cravings (I know those catagories aren’t ‘most everything,’ but just roll with me).
So it’s been crazy windy (fact-a tree snapped in our back yard).
And we’ve had crazy sideways rain (just like in “Braveheart,” the proper Scottish rain).
And it’s cold. Not freezing, but when the temps are dipping to about 42 degrees F and the highs are hanging about 55 degrees F, it changes things.
Enough weather talk; let’s chat about the real deal.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1- 1 1/2 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. Set aside.
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). Spoon a fairly generous amount of cream cheese mixture onto the top of the batter. Not too much so it runs everywhere, but a decent amount (see the photo above for an example). 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. (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)