As soon as the calendar turns to September, pumpkin season officially begins. Coffee shops immediately add pumpkin lattes back onto the menu. (I believe there was even a little controversy this year, when a few chain coffee brewers began offering the autumn treat at the end of August!) While most people only ever use pumpkins for decorating, this gourd really is capable of so much more. It can be used for everything from acting as a decorative vase and holding a floral display to filling the role of a serving bowl for dips or even soups. Making a batch of puree is as simple as cutting the gourd in half, roasting it, and then scooping out the flesh and pureeing it. A four pound pumpkin will yield about 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree which can be used in an endless number of delicious recipes. One such recipe is Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. These delicious treats with their streusel topping are sure to impress, whether you serve them up for Brunch or as a dessert or snack for the family.
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons white sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
- To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
- For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
- For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
- Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.