Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I find all the hype over Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling a little amusing, because to be honest, I’ve never tried either one so I suppose I don’t know what I’m missing out on, or if all the hoopla is really worth it.

I’m sure they’re both really good, but I can’t allow myself to form an expensive coffee habit, so I very rarely step into a Starbucks or drink a cup of coffee or eat a muffin that I didn’t make myself.  I bought a muffin at work a few weeks ago and it was awful.  Dry and flavorless and horrible.  I wished I had my $2.00 back, or whatever it cost.  So, because of this sort of disappointment, I try not to fall into the trap of buying conveniently prepared food and drinks that look yummy but usually are just okay, if not really, really bad.

Pumpkin and cream cheese, though, is a really happy pairing, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to have a pumpkin cream cheese muffin in my recipe repertoire.  Full of fall spices and topped with brown sugar streusel, they filled the house with their sweet and spicy aroma the morning I baked them.

I can’t promise I’ll come up with my own Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe, although I am dreaming of warm Pumpkin Eggnog with a cinnamon stick closer to the holidays…

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
printable recipe

Muffin Batter:

·         ½ can / about ¾ cup (7 ounces) pumpkin puree
·         ¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
·         ½ cup white granulated sugar
·         ½ cup brown sugar
·         ¼ cup vegetable oil
·         2 eggs
·         ½ tablespoon vanilla
·         1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoons baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ½ teaspoon cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon ginger
·         ¼ teaspoon cloves
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
·         3 tablespoons brown sugar
·         3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·         1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

·         4 ounces cream cheese, softened
·         2 tablespoons powdered sugar
·         1 tablespoon flour

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine the streusel ingredients with a pastry cutter until coarse and crumbly; set aside.

In another bowl, combine the cream cheese filling ingredients until smooth; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, yogurt, both sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until moistened.

Spoon half the batter into the paper liners, top with a dollop of cream cheese filling, then spoon the rest of the batter on top of the cream cheese.  Cups will be almost full.  Sprinkle the streusel over the batter and press down gently.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Yields 12 muffins.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen