Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins

I've mentioned my love of pumpkin treats, right?  This must be one of my all time favorites.  Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins.

Mmmmmm.  The muffin is moist and pumpkiny, but the best part is the hidden cream cheese swirl in the center.  Such a sweet surprise!  And on top?  A yummy streusel.  Perfection!!

This recipe has sentimental value to me as well.  Is that odd, to be emotionally attached to a recipe??  It's tattered and worn, ripped out of a magazine over 8 years ago.  My sweet Emma was a newborn and was spending some time (13 days to be exact) in the NICU after she was born.  One Sunday morning I was visiting her and enjoying as many snuggles as I could while hubby took my other two sweeties to church.  After my time with Emma I sat in the front waiting area, waiting for them to pick me up.  It was that day that I flipped through the September edition of Country Living Magazine.  Was it so wrong of me to rip out this recipe??   I have no guilt about that.    ;)

I've enjoyed this recipe time and time again since that precious day.  Each fall as I unfold the magazine clipping I remember the sounds, smells, and feelings associated with that time, and I'm thankful that the Lord strengthened Emma.  She's now a boisterous, incredibly smart, athletic, and super adorable 8 year old, and I can't imagine a day without her hugs and giggles!!

Want the recipe?   Here you go!   (It's a bit fussy---there are three steps----batter, filling, and topping---but the time and effort is surely worth it!  Enjoy!)

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
2 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cups flour
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cup solid-packed pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat two 12-cup standard muffin tins with oil and set aside.

Mix the cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Toss 5 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup flour, pecans, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine the remaining sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining cinnamon in a large bowl. Lightly beat the remaining eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour the pumpkin mixture into the well, and mix with a fork just until moistened. Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and fill with the remaining batter. Sprinkle some of the pecan mixture over the top of each muffin and bake until golden and a tester, inserted into the muffin center, comes out clean -- 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

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