It is another beautiful fall day and I have enjoyed puttering around the neighborhood. On my walk I finally managed to get the ingredients necessary to make these fall inspired muffins. This is a rather large recipe, making 24 large muffins. I found it off Recipe Zaar, which proclaims that the recipe is like the starbucks muffins. I have never eaten a starbucks one, but from what I hear they are yummy. But why buy Starbucks when you can make your own.
After mixing all the ingredients and just about to fill the muffin tins, I stopped because I felt like I was forgetting something. Then I realized I had not added the pumpkin. Ha! Yes that would have been nice, pumpkin muffins without the pumpkin. I did not have pumpkin pie spice, so I altered the spices slightly. They turned out really pretty and delicious. If you heat them up (or eat them out of the oven) the cheese gets nice and warm and melts in your mouth, careful not to burn your tongue. If you do not wish to use canned pumpkin, which is obviously the easier choice, you can use a real pumpkin and cook it either on the stove or in the oven. I have not tried that yet for muffins, but have for soups and it offers a nice flavor.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese
chopped pumpkin seeds(optional) pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350.
Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log.
Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour.
Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier.
Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese and nuts).
Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) 3/4 way full.
Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down.
Sprinkle with 1 tsp pumpkin seeds or place a pecan on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part.
Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.