Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well with a hand mixer until well blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. I have found that if you twist the ends of the plastic wrap it will make a smooth log and you can make sure it is even throughout. Place in the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, about 2 hours.

For the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, 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 the dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated (you may need to stop and scrap down the sides once or twice).
To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small or medium bowl; using a pastry cutter or two forks cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

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 12 equal pieces and then each piece in half to make 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, making sure the cream cheese mixture is covered. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each muffin to cover the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. You want to be careful the cream cheese is very hot.
This recipe and picture--another from Dinah's Dishes--Very delicious!

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