October 6, 2010

Pumpkin & Maple Cream Cheese Muffins

I mentioned my new favorite kitchen ingredient in my last post, King Arthur Flour Boiled Cider Syrup. There is a slew of amazing-sounding recipes on the KAF site that uses this cider, and these caught my eye. Did I mention that I love fall flavors?

The recipe calls for the cream cheese to be flavored with a lemon/vanilla flavoring, but I really wanted to highlight the combination of maple and pumpkin. Maple cream cheese? Uh, yeah. It's as good as you think it will be.

These muffins have a great flavor, however, they were a little more dense than I was expecting. I had expected a fluffier crumb, which I didn't get. It could be user error, but I'm not sure. The texture won't stop anyone in this house from enjoying them, though.

Well...maybe one of us won't get a sample...no matter how cute she looks snuggled into my arms.

Inside Out Pumpkin Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup puréed pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup boiled cider (for best flavor), or dark corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, preferably organic

1 8-ounce package cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a few drops Fiori di Sicilia flavor, optional (I used maple. Other bakers suggested almond or vanilla)


Preheat the oven to 400, and line a muffin tin with liners.

To make the batter: Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, boiled cider or corn syrup, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour and mix until well combined.

To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling, then cover with another 2 tablespoons of batter.

Bake the standard muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out crumb-free. Transfer them to a rack to cool.

Yield: 12 regular muffins.