Sunday, February 20, 2011
A Good Recipe Travels Far: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Apparently, these are a knock-off of a Starbuck’s muffin. I couldn’t fact-check that one, because the closest Starbuck’s is more than a few miles from here (not that we don’t have some great coffee houses!). But I can tell you they’re scrumptious! If you like pumpkin. (I do.) And warm cinnamony and clovey spices. (I do.) And cream cheese. (I do, I do, I do!)
I first made these for a Christmas brunch and we scarfed them up along with our Naked Fruit Salad, ham and broccoli quiche and mimosas. The muffins were so good I bet we could have just eaten more of them and skipped the quiche – but not the mimosas.
The next time I made them was for a friend’s birthday. Our friend Susie was baking her husband Dick’s favorite cake for his birthday but since there was going to be a crowd, we thought maybe some extra something might be good. So I volunteered to make these. It’s not like me to volunteer to bake, I’m that intimidated by baking. But I was so sure of these babies, I didn’t hesitate a minute – and even got so brave as to change the topping!
Elly added a little vanilla to the cream cheese filling, and changed the spice combination some. Annie’s Eats recipe included pumpkin pie spice, but Elly chose to increase the cinnamon and nutmeg and add ground ginger. She also used canola oil instead of vegetable oil. Since I had a bunch of pumpkin pie spice that won’t get used for anything but this, I followed the first recipe more closely.
Since they were supposed to be a dessert, I thought I’d frost them, but since there was already cream cheese in the middle, a real icing might be too much, so I made a glaze by blending softened cream cheese with confectioner's sugar and thinning it with apple butter and spreading it on the warm muffins.
So here’s my amalgamation of two recipes. I wonder what the next change will be?
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
from Elly Says Opa! and from Annie’s Eats
makes 24 muffins
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup apple butter
To make the filling, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. Shape the mixture into a log (about 1.5″ in diameter), with the aid of plastic wrap, and wrap the log tightly. Reinforce with tin foil or place in a plastic freezer bag and freeze for 2 hours or longer, until firm.
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 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.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. While the muffins bake, make the glaze by blending the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and apple butter until smooth. Whn muffins are done, transfer to a wire rack. Spread apple butter glaze on muffin tops while still warm. Let cool completely before serving.