Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TWD- Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

I've been excited about fall for a while and trying to catch the feeling despite the summery weather. While I was gone, though, fall came. It even hopped down to the fifties, although it's back up. Nonetheless, it's officially fall around here now and I couldn't be more excited. Apples, pumpkin baked goods, and soups are now on the menu. So when it came time to make these muffins, chosen by Kelly, my mind went spinning thinking about what to do with the rest of that enormous can of pumpkin (think Mexican Winter Squash soup- coming soon!) I've also read that pumpkin puree freezes well in case you have extra. I had some left over cheese filling from Ina's cheese danishes, just the right amount of chopped pecans, and half a bag of white chocolate chips. I think, for once, things kind of fell into place.

The muffins themselves are quick and easy to put together. They have lots of delicious fall spices that are reminiscent of my soft Molasses Crinkles. The pumpkin flavor is subtle but warm and inviting. As for the chocolate on top... I couldn't find sunflower seeds at Safeway (seriously?) so my muffins just needed something so they looked less bare! Next time, I think I'll add more cinnamon, a little whole wheat flour, and count this as a "healthy" breakfast. With the right mixins (think nuts and fruit instead of chocolate!) I think I really could justify these in place of a bowl of oatmeal, if only for the wonderful autumn ambiance they bring to the table.

There's nothing like Tuesdays with Dorie- the perfect pick me up. Excuse me while I go bake something else. Thank goodness I have lots of neighbors and family to share with. Don't forget to check Kelly's blog for the recipe. I've included the recipe for the filling I used in a few of the muffins. I think I prefer the cheesecake muffins, although I really mostly prefer the Orange Berry Muffins. Either way, every muffin I've tried from Baking has been delicious- so pick up a copy already!

Cheesecake Filling
(Note- this makes enough for half a danish recipe- so just make a bit or use a little whipped up cream cheese you have on hand!)

4 oz Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Large egg or 1/4 Cup Egg Beaters, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon Ricotta (optional)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Pinch of Kosher salt

Combine all ingredients until smooth. Spoon or scoop muffin batter into prepared muffin pan, filling about halfway. Spoon a tablespoon of cream cheese filling on top and follow with a tablespoon of muffin batter. Bake according to recipe.

I'd also like to thank Nancy and Matt for these nice blog awards and for their kind words. They both have wonderful posts and are great reads you should check out!

39 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

The cheesecake filling sounds fabulous - great use of a leftover! They look wonderful, and I agree that you could "healthy" these up quite easily.

Cathy said...

Oh my goodness Anne. I can't even imagine how amazing these had to be with the cheesecake filling. You are brilliant, brilliant I tell you! I did half whole wheat flour in one of my batches and could not tell a difference from the all-AP version, so I think I'll use at least half whole wheat from now on. Your muffins look beautiful!

lusciousfood.com said...

cheesecake filling?! you are my new baking god(dess)! what a great idea.

vibi said...

Mmmmm... must have been wonderful with the cheesecake filling, a nice change and great use of leftovers!

Amanda said...

Great minds think alike! I drizzled mine with chocolate too. Not because I couldn't find the sunflower seeds, I just left them out LOL Yours look divine!

Jen said...

YUM! Pumpkin & cheesecake! I'm trying your version next! Love the chocolate drizzle on top. They look amazing!

Kayte said...

You come up with the most interesting combinations! Really inspiring...your muffins look wonderful.
wwww.grandmaskitchentable.typepad.com

chocolatechic said...

Cream Cheese goodness with pumpkin..

Oh...yum.

Di said...

I -love- the cream cheese filling idea! That's fantastic. These muffins do work quite well with whole wheat flour--I used half white whole wheat and half AP flour and they turned out great.

Jodie said...

Ooh, I'm up for cheesecake filling!

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Weren't these just scrumptious? I just had one for breakfast. I love your substitutions and will try chocolate chips next time with some craisins.

Katrina said...

YUM! I'm loving everyone's twists on this classic muffin. Love the cheesecake idea and way to use up leftovers.
I have a hard time finding raw sunflower seeds except in health food stores, or bulk bins, but your changes sound better anyway. I did a few with the sunflower seeds and they didn't really match everything else that was in the muffins.

Peggy said...

congrats on your awards. You are so deserving. I love reading your blog. The cheesecake sounds divine. I never think of creative things like that. :) And drizzled chocolate - what could be better.

Mary Ann said...

Your filling sounds scrumptious! They look yummy too. great job, Anne!

Rachel said...

I made a cream cheese filling too! Your muffins look fantastic--love the chocolate drizzle!

n.o.e said...

The cheesecake filling is such a creative take on this recipe - and they look divine. I "healthy-d" mine up and they were good that way, too.
Nancy

kim said...

man, i am so doing a cream cheese filling next time!! awesome idea. i always love a chocolate drizzle too :) yum!

Jenny said...

Beautiful muffins! They have fall written all over them. Congrats on the cute blog awards too!

Jamie said...

Cream cheese filling crossed my mind, but I have just been so lazy! Yours look scrumptious!

Pamela said...

Anne! These look absolutely amazingly good. What a great idea. And the chocolate on top...Yum!

Prudence said...

Beautiful pictures and congrats on your awards!! Your pumkin muffins look yummy!

Laura said...

Great job on these muffins - what a wondergul combo with the cheesecake! I thought these were really, really good - but you think those other muffins were better, wow - I'm gonna have to start making muffins more often!

Beryl said...

So delicious- I can't wait to try the cheesecake filling.

Cynthia said...

Excellent

Jess said...

Cheesecake filling...I didn't think these needed anything else, but I've changed my mind! Beautiful photos, too.

Karen said...

Yum! I would love those but my hubs would probably not. Dang non cream cheese eater! :) They look delicious!

Prudy said...

Oh my goodness, with cheesecake filling! I suddenly feel like I missed out. I better get back and start again.

Maria said...

I bet the cheesecake filling really made these muffins shine. They look fab!

TeaLady said...

Chocolate drizzle AND cheesecake filling. uuummmmm yummy. Fantastic!!! I will HAVE to try these. Thanks for the additional recipe. Great job.

Flourchild said...

Okay now I've seen the best looking muffins around. YOU did a fabulous job and I am so jealous!

Erin said...

The cheesecake filling sounds fabulous! I'm definitely going to try that next time!

The Food Librarian said...

What a great idea!!! Love it! That combines some great flavors - pumpkin and cream cheese!

AmyRuth said...

So fun to create something completely random and delish with remaining elements from previous bakes. Love that about this whole experience. Your muffins look amazing. Thanks for sharing the filing recipe. YUmm Yumm
AmyRuth

SiHaN said...

oh wow! the cheesecake filling sounds great! i would definitely buy one of these off the shelf!

1freshstart said...

Oh, yum those sound fantastic! Thanks for the tip about freezing pumpkin... I keep trying to use it up before it goes bad in the fridge!
~Cat

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Anne, you are brilliant!!!

Heather B said...

yum! It sounds delicious!

Andrea said...

Those look beautiful! I've had pumpkin cheesecake, but never in a muffin. I might just have to try this one. I absolutely LOVE pumpkin in anything, it add such great moistness. Can't wait to see what you come up with for the rest of the can!

john said...

yummy!!!! Your muffins & cheesecake look beautiful. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but my choice chocolate.

Thanks

Anderson
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