Well, hello there strangers! It’s been a while. Why don’t you sit down, make yourself comfortable, and prepare for one of my new favourite fall recipes… just in time for the end of fall. What great timing!
As you learned in my pumpkin pie recipe, after several years of straight-up-pumpkin-hatred, I’ve recently developed a love for all things pumpkin. You can imagine my distress as the days are getting colder, and fewer and fewer little pie pumpkins from the Annapolis Valley are filling displays at work. The other day while I was working away, the produce manager let me know that the last three pie pumpkins at our Halifax store had just gone on the reduced rack. Naturally, I dropped what I was doing, ran down the stairs, sprinted (as professionally as possible) to the reduced rack, snatched one of those adorable little pumpkins, and ran (equally professionally) to the cash. I suggest you do the same. If you see any more local pie pumpkins, stock up! You can prepare your pumpkin puree by gutting, baking, and puree it, and freeze it for later.
Actually, you should probably run to your local market as soon as you can and see if they have any. If you see any road side produce stalls, check those too. And uh… let a girl know if you find any more. I’m looking for a sweet little pumpkin hook up. I need them. Just a few more… to get me through the winter even. HELP ME.
And that my friends, is what an addict sounds like.
Ok. Time to focus. Since apparently it isn’t socially acceptable to eat pumpkin eat multiple times a day for extended periods of time, I thought I’d better figure out another way to get my pumpkin fix. The answer: muffins. Spicy, delicious little muffins. With cream cheese hiding in the middle. Yes.
After reading through a bunch of pumpkin muffin recipes, I finally got my muffins just how I like them. These muffins are flavourful and moist, and feature lots of local goodies:
a pie pumpkin from Pete’s (grown in the Valley),
fresh Overmars eggs,
fair trade organic fine sugar from Just Us!,
Speerville Flour Mill organic unbleached white flour and rolled oats,
and Omega Crunch roasted maple flax.
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins with Maple Flax Crumble Topping
Yields approx. 2 dozen large muffins
1 pie pumpkin (I got just under 3 C of puree from mine)
3 ½ C Speerville Flour Mill organic unbleached white flour
2 C Just Us! fair trade organic fine sugar
1 C brown sugar
3 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
3 tsp cloves
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp allspice
1 ½ tsp salt
1 C oil (my preference is for olive oil)
4 Overmars Farm eggs
For the filling:
1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
1 Overmars Farm egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs brown sugar
For the topping:
4 ½ tbs Speerville Flour Mill organic unbleached white flour
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs Just Us! fair trade organic fine sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 tbs Scotsburn butter
3 tbs Omega Crunch roasted maple flax
3 tbs Speerville Flour Mill organic rolled oats
Prepare your pie pumpkin.
For full instructions, check out my pumpkin pie recipe. WARNING: you may now need to make muffins AND a pie to satisfy your cravings.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
While you’re waiting for the pumpkin to cool, prepare the topping for your muffins. In a bowl, mix flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, flax and rolled oats.
Mix ‘em up real good.
Using two knives like a real pro, cut the butter into mixture until you get a tasty crumbly mixture.
Try to resist eating it, and put it aside.
Now on to the muffins. Prepare a dry bowl with your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Put it aside.
Crack your eggs into a measuring cup or bowl. This way, if those damned pieces of shell happen to get into the bowl you can make sure they don’t get into your muffins.
Take that egg shell, I’ve outsmarted you! Put it aside too.
Once your pumpkin is cool, scoop it into the bowl of your mixer and add your spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice).
Blend gently. Muffins can dry out really easily, so make sure you stir your batter as little as possible. As you add ingredients, it’s best to mix the batter until just blended.
Then add your sugars. Blend again.
Take your dry bowl and pour a little in. Then pour the oil and one egg in.
Guess what? Blend it.
Repeat until all the dry mix and all the eggs have been added and blended.
Scoop the batter into another bowl while you prepare the delicious cream cheese filling.
To prepare the filling, scrape the cream cheese into the bowl of the mixture, and let it mix until it’s completely smooth.
Add your egg, being mindful of sneaky egg shell fragments, along with the vanilla extract and brown sugar.
Blend until it’s all smooth and beautiful again.
Fill two muffin pans with liners. Scoop batter into each liner so they’re a bit under half full. Drop a ½ tbs of the cream cheese filling in the middle.
Try to keep it from seeping out of the middle and touching the paper liner.
Fill the liner with the left over batter.
Now generously sprinkle to topping over the muffins.
Be generous, there is LOTS.
Bake for approx. 20 minutes. When you test the muffins with tooth pick, it should just come out clean. They will still be super soft, but that’s ok. If the tooth pick is clean don’t put them back in or else they will be dry. Let them sit for a minute in the pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
And there you have it.
Arguably one of the most delicious muffin recipes I’ve ever encountered. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do, as long as I don’t have to share mine with you. I fully intend to eat all 24 of these myself. Don’t judge.