December 1, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

It's barely December, but most of you may or may not be sick of pumpkin by now. But don't worry; I have a recipe that will renew your faith! I know there's a lot of muffin recipes and a lot of cheesecake recipes and a lot of those probably use pumpkin, too. This recipe, however, combines all three of those flavors with a sweet, crunchy streusel topping. Yes, that's right. I made pumpkin cheesecake muffins.

The base is a simple pumpkin muffin: sweet, moist, and delicious. It's basically your excuse to eat cake for breakfast, and you don't even have to break out your mixer. Just combine some eggs, pumpkin, oil, sugar, and a splash of buttermilk and whisk in your dry ingredients. I found a way to make it so much better, though, because I add a dollop of cheesecake filling.

The filling is even easier than the muffin batter; I combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a few drops of vanilla. The whole thing is sprinkled with streusel, which is essentially sweetened, spiced butter with enough flour to hold it together. It bakes up nice and crunchy, the perfect cap to the gooey cheesecake tucked inside those deliciously pumpkin-y muffins.

2 Cups Flour
1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/8 tsp Cloves
1/8 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
 2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pumpkin
1/2 Cup Oil
2 T Buttermilk
2 T Butter, Melted
4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Heat oven to 425F and line a cupcake tin with paper cups.

Combine the cream cheese and vanilla, then whisk in the powdered sugar. Scoop into 15 balls and freeze until firm.

Stir 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and the melted butter together until crumbly. Chill until cold.

Sift the remaining flour, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger, baking soda, and salt together. Whisk the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, and buttermilk together. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Press a ball of cheesecake filling into the center of each cup; it may not be entirely covered by batter. Sprinkle the streusel onto each muffin. Bake for 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 375, and bake for 12 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes 15
Recipe Adapted from Culinary Couture

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