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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins!

In camp's large and often overlooked pantry of donated food, I've found many, many oddities. Oddities that would be difficult for our camp cook, who we lovingly refer to as "Chef," to use because he can't use anything in such small quantities. Like, 3 cans of pumpkin puree. I've been eying those cans for about a month now.

I saw these 3 cans of pumpkin and thought, "Hey. I could probably use those."

And I finally did.

Thanks to Sweet Escape Bakery! Thank you very much for posting this recipe!!

Here it is, with a couple of (mostly need-based) modifications...

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins  
(Based on Sweet Escape Bakery, modifications by Little Wife)

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
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 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. It's kind of sticky, so this might be a little tricky. 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. This recipe makes 24 muffins (and I only had a twelve-muffin pan... so I had to bake these in two batches.) 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. 

These muffins were so delicious. I got rave reviews from everyone who tried them, and I definitely passed them around (Zeke and I couldn't possibly eat 24 of these babies, as much as we may want to!) I'll definitely make these again around Thanksgiving!

I noticed that some of my cream cheese was poking through on top, but I didn't really mind that so much. Too delicious to care!

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