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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

A few days ago the Hubby came home with the ultimate compliment. One of his co-workers told him in passing that he refuses to eat anything at work unless I made it. Aw-- shucks! So of course I had to bake a few Christmas treats to send to work with him. Up first was a delicious Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin. Oh goodness. These were above and beyond any muffin I have ever tasted. The pumpkin base on it's own was amazing but adding a cream cheese center topped with a cinnamon streusel. I was blown away. This is officially my very favorite muffin ever! I wish I had kept a few at home to pig out on. These will absolutely become a staple at our house!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

3 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil (I used peanut oil because that is what I had on hand)
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

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

Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl 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 muffin pan. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours. (I only left it in the freezer while I mixed up the muffins. It was still pretty soft so I used a spoon and plopped a little in each muffin center).

In a bowl combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, 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 two forks until crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each liner 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 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.


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