Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin cRaZe ! ! !

Fall is by far my favorite season.  Cool weather, colorful leaves, boots, sweaters, and PUMPKIN!  I don't think I know anyone who doesn't absolutely adore all things pumpkin.  This is my first pumpkin dessert this fall and I'm certain it won't be my last!  I made 24 regular sized muffins and 24 mini muffins with this recipe.**

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel (by Annie's Eats)

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups 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 canned pumpkin
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced

Start with the filling.  Combine the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.  Put in the refrigerator to stiffen slightly.

Next, make the topping by combining the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a food processor.  Pulse several times to combine and then add the diced butter.  Make sure the butter is VERY cold.  Pulse several times until the mixture is light and crumbly.  Don't over pulse because this will create an almost doughy mixture.  Store in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 24 liners.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda.  In a smaller bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and vegetable oil.  Beat with an electric mixer until well combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with the hand mixer on low until the ingredients are just combined.

To assemble, put about 1 tablespoon of the muffin mixture in the base of the tins.  Add a spoonful of the cream cheese filling and then top with another tablespoon of the muffin mix.  Sprinkle on the streusel topping and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan.  

**To make the mini muffins: in each small liner, add a dollop of muffin mixture, topped with about a half teaspoon of cream cheese mixture, and sprinkle the streusel on top of that.  Bake 10-12 minutes.