Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins

I woke up to snow this morning. I decided quite early that I was going to pretend that outside my home (for me it is my kitchen) there was no world. But then reality set in when my coffee pot decided to quit working. So I was forced to go out into the 29 degree "world" and buy a new long as I was out I went to the farmers market and picked up some fresh tomatoes, a quart of honey and some delicious homemade jellies. Then the grocery store for some canned pumpkin and things I needed to bake some pies, cook some stew and settle in for the weekend. Except for a crazy lady in aisle five at the supermarket I managed to nearly pretend I was all alone in the world.

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins

For the muffins:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree

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

For the streusel topping:
½ cup sugar
¼ cup and 1 tsp. flour
4 tbsp. butter, cubed
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until smooth. Form into a log on plastic wrap or foil, making sure that the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours. I was not patient enough to wait the full 1-2 hours. In fact I waited about 15 minutes. Patience is overrated.

To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

To make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together with a pastry blender or your fingertips until crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well halfway with batter. Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices. Place a slice in each muffin well. Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving...or not.

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