Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pumpkin muffins with maple cream cheese filling

I'm ready for fall. Like, really ready. I love warm weather, but having 100* weather for weeks on end gets really old, really fast. We still have 2 weeks until school starts, and don't even remind me how many weeks we have until fall officially starts. But I already have fall baking on my mind. 

So this morning, I whipped up some pumpkin pancakes. I didn't realize I was almost out of buttermilk (and completely out of all forms of milk, half&half, heavy cream, etc), so I ended up having to substitute a little water in the recipe. Which was okay, but they weren't as great as I had hoped. 

So in order to take care of my pumpkin craving for real, plus use up the rest of the can of pumpkin puree, I decided to make some pumpkin muffins. I don't have a pumpkin muffin recipe that I consistently use, so I asked my friend Chef Google. I found a few ideas, combined them, and came up with my own recipe. It turned out really yummy so I thought I would share!

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Muffin Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce 
1/2 tsp baking soda

(Two side notes-- I use whole wheat flour for everything I make. I recommend white whole wheat flour because it is lighter than regular whole wheat flour. You could also easily substitute regular all-purpose flour. Also, the applesauce replaces the need for oil. It doesn't change the flavor but it's much healthier!)

Filling Ingredients:
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Special equipment:
pastry bag
#12 tip

(Side note-- if you don't have the special equipment, you can use a ziploc bag by cutting one corner and squeezing the filling out through that. You will need to use a knife to make a little hole in the muffin first. You could also just use the filling as frosting, or skip it all together)

--Preheat oven to 350*
--In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
--In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, applesauce, and baking soda. Whisk until well combined.
--Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
--Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling them about 2/3 full. (You might not fill all 18 muffin cups)
--Bake for 18-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
--Remove from oven to a cooling rack

{{While the muffins are cooling, make the filling}}

--Put filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
--Using a hand blender, whisk ingredients until fluffy.
--Put tip and coupler on pastry bag, then fill the bag with the filling
--Slightly insert the tip of the pastry bag into the muffin and squeeze lightly
--Once you meet some resistance, slowly pull the tip out, allowing some extra to dollop on top
--Put on a platter and enjoy!

Serve these to your friends and family. 
They will love you for it!

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