Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel

These muffins use a neat little trick to make sure that there is a nice little pocket of cream cheese in the middle and that it doesn’t float or spread out inside the muffins. The cream cheese filling mixture is prepared, shaped into a log and frozen for a couple of hours. When you’re ready to make the muffins, you put a little bit of batter in the muffin cups, then cut the log into even pieces and add a piece of frozen cream cheese filling, then add the remainder of the batter to the muffin cups.

 

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INGREDIENTS:


For the Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Muffins:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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INSTRUCTIONS:


  • Step 1

Make the Cream Cheese Filling In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and stir to combine. Form the mixture into a 12-inch log on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it in the plastic wrap and then again in foil, and freeze for at least two hours, or until firm.

  • Step 2

Make the Streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the pecans, then use a fork to mix in the melted butter, ensuring that all of the ingredients are moistened. Refrigerate while you prepare the muffins.

  • Step 3

Make the Muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

  • Step 4

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt.

  • Step 5

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.

  • Step 6

Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently combine the batter, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

  • Step 7

Remove the cream cheese from the freezer, and divide it into 12 1-inch slices.

  • Step 8

Scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the muffin cups. Place 1 slice of the cream cheese log in the center of each cup, then divide the remaining batter evenly between the muffin cups, ensuring that the cream cheese is completely covered.

  • Step 9

Sprinkle the pecan streusel on top of each muffin. Press on the streusel lightly to make sure it adheres to the batter.

  • Step 10

Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let them come to room temperature before serving, or warm briefly in the microwave to take the chill off. The muffins can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 months.

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