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Spiced Pumpkin 'n' Cream Cheese Streusel Topped Muffins

I’ve thought long and hard about the perfect recipe to start this blog with. Better start on a good note right? I want this recipe to bring you back for all the other recipes to come, & I am pretty sure I did a good job; just don’t let the long name scare you away. Since we are so close to Thanksgiving I can’t help but crave pumpkin & even though Thanksgiving is only less than a week away, I had to make my pre-appetizer pumpkin muffin snack to get me ready for the big day.

Fresh from the oven, one bite into this muffin gives you a nice, crusty top, soft, fluffy muffin, & ooey gooey center. The aroma from the spices fills your house. You definitely won’t be needing to use a scented candle the day that you bake these. More good news is, this muffin is only 145 calories, so you calorie counters out there (aka me & My Fitness Pal friends) won’t completely wreck your diet eating one of these. You can further “healthify” these muffins using splenda or whatnot (I personally don’t go that far…some things [sugar] I can’t give up), but I used unsweetened applesauce to replace the oil, & they are perfectly moist still. Enjoy!

Spiced Pumpkin 'n' Cream Cheese Streusel Topped Muffins

Spiced Pumpkin ‘n’ Cream Cheese Streusel Topped Muffins

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filing:

  • 4 oz Neufchatel Cheese 1/3 less fat cream cheese COLD (straight from fridge)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 Tbsp room temp/softened (not melted butter)
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour

Muffin Batter:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. CREAM CHEESE FILLING: Using a hand blender, cream these 3 ingredients until well blended (no lumps). Put in the refrigerator to keep cold.
  2. STREUSEL TOPPING: Put all ingredients into a bowl. Mix with a fork or pastry blender until crumbs come together. I usually rub the mixture between my hands to make it pretty fine.
  3. MUFFIN BATTER: In a mixer, cream your sugars & eggs. Add applesauce & pumpkin, then blend. In a bowl combine all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & salt) & gradually add to wet mixture. You might have some small lumps, but that is ok. Once everything is incorporated it's time to assemble your muffin.
  4. ASSEMBLE MUFFINS: Fill muffin tins with paper cups. Using a #50 scoop (or you can eyeball it) spoon one scoop pumpkin muffin batter into every cup (should be about ¼ full).
  5. Put ½ Tbsp of cream cheese mixture on the top-center of the pumpkin batter.
  6. Spoon two more scoops of pumpkin batter over the cream cheese mixture (should be ¾ full with everything in there).
  7. Sprinkle all the tops with streusel & bake at 375*F for 20-25 min. Your muffin should spring back when touched. Remove from oven & enjoy warm. Be careful though, the cream cheese center might be hot.
Spiced Pumpkin 'n' Cream Cheese Streusel Topped Muffins