I feel like it has been months since I baked and honestly years since I was baking regularly. It had been so long I was beginning to question whether I actually enjoyed baking. And then, I had a reason to bake and it all came back to me. It is so easy to forget how much I enjoy all the parts: searching for a recipe, making adjustments, buying the ingredients, doing the baking, styling & photographing, and even the clean up. The best part? Getting to share with others!
I guess that what was missing before, I did not have the opportunity to share. At the end of the day that is my manifesto of baking: I bake to show love for others. When I don't have others* to bake for, the activity loses it charm. Needless to say, I'm happy to be back in a place where there are plenty of people to share in the baked goods!
*I, by no means, do not want to imply I did not have friends to bake for, I did. They were just spread out and not as accessible.
A few notes about the muffins - they are fantastic! Perfect pumpkin spice flavor and great texture variety from the streusel topping to the creamy cream cheese to the lovely crumb of the muffin. These muffins are moist, flavorful, and in the spirit of all things fall. There are a lot of ingredients, but the litany of spices could be substituted by 4 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice. There are some muffins that are healthy for breakfast, these are not those muffins. However, they are delightful and I highly recommend you make a batch of your own!
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Adapted from Warm Vanilla Sugar
Yield - 12
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cream cheese middle - make at least 2 hours ahead of time. Combine the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and until lump free. Roll into a log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to set.
Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.
Muffins - In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and soda. Set aside.
In another large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and oil. Add the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a rubber spatula until it is all incorporated.
Streusel - Melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices. Stir until all the ingredients are moistened.
Assembly - Divide the batter evenly among 12 lined muffin tins. Cut the log of cream cheese into 12 pieces. Place one piece in the center of each muffin and press down. Cover the tops of the muffins with the streusel.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan until the muffins are handable. Remove the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.