Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I called my friend Yinka to tell  him I wanted to start writing a food blog. I know it's been "done to death", but I really need a creative outlet involving something I love to do and figured he'd be a great sounding board for my thoughts...... and like my behavior with my daughter, it's always fun to call and throw out random ideas and see their reaction.

Right away, he talked about "finding a brand" and "creating a niche", what sets me apart from others...blah...blah. He was way too overzealous for this underachiever. I mean, it's a blog and the only people that are probably going to see it, are my friends. No need to get all "Ari Gold from Entourage" on me.

Anyway, I posted a few times and wanted him to review my blog and get his opinion of what I have done so far. His response was "when are you going to grow up"? I had no idea what he was talking about, but according to him "hedonistic" in my blog name sends the wrong message. He said.."why did I spend so much time "branding" you (ouch), if you were going to use a name like that?  I told him that the definition of hedonism also means epicurean pleasures, but I imagine to him..... it meant a Jamaican resort popular with swingers. Anyway, to prove his point, he said he even mentioned the name to someone else that was thinking of blogging and she had some sort of "facial reaction", now who needs to grow up daddy?

Anyway, I wanted to use the pumpkin I had pureed and frozen from the holidays. I still have leftover pumpkin, so I'll be making Pumpkin Whoopie Pie's this week as well. Stay tuned for out of season recipe...

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (almost like Starbucks)
I used a different struesel topping from what was provided with the recipe

For Muffins:
3 cups of Flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups pureed pumpkin or canned

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbs. flour
4 tbs. butter
1 cup chopped pecans

To prepare filling:  whip cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. The instructions say you can form a log of the cream cheese mixture and freeze, but I just kept in refridgerated after mixing until time to use, then I filled each muffin tin halfway and dropped a tablespoon of the cream cheese on to the batter and then added more batter to cover. I also used jumbo size muffin pans and purchased the muffin papers at a specialty baking store.

To make muffins: I sifted the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and in a separate bowl I used an electric mixer to combine eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin puree, blend well and slowly add dry ingredient until just blended.

To make streusel topping: combine all ingredients using 2 forks or a pastry blender. I used my food processor to blend quickly and I generously covered the muffin batter with streusel

Bake in preheated oven at 350, baking depending on what size muffin pans you choose to use. Mine took about 25 minutes.


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