Three years ago when my blog was still essentially a brand new little baby, I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins. I loved the recipe (and still do) but I decided I wanted to simplify it a bit and create a recipe that uses honey instead of sugar.
And, well, the original photos are just gosh darn bad because I didn't realize at the time how easily taking photos at night with artificial lighting can ruin photos. Exhibit A:
I decided it's time to give the pumpkin muffins new life. While tweaking the recipe I thought about how I tend to eat these muffins with a shmear of cream cheese on top. But what's more fun than shmearing cream cheese? Well, this is:
Yep. This is happening. I've made a couple batches of them this way and I'm a huge fan. They're delicious warm and fresh from the oven (or heated in the microwave for a few seconds) but if you chill them, the combination of the pumpkin and the cream cheese makes you feel like you're eating pumpkin pie for breakfast.
Except you didn't have to bother making a whole pie. And it's much healthier than pie so you're pretty much winning at life. Or at least breakfast
I made a batch of these yesterday and froze most of them so they'll be ready to be packed in school lunches or used as a quick breakfast once the school year gets going. Next week. :gulp:
First cream together butter and honey in a large mixing bowl.
Add in eggs and vanilla. I always get a little heavy handed when it comes to vanilla. But I included a normal person sized amount in the recipe below.
And pumpkin, of course. As soon as pumpkins roll out at the farmer's market you can bet I'll be making my own puree (so easy!) but for now I settled for the canned stuff.
Add in all your dry ingredients. Just the standard basics: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
As your mixing the dry ingredients in, pour in a splash of milk to help it mix together.
Scoop batter into a muffin tin that's been buttered or given a once over with cooking spray.
Bake at 350.
While the baking is happening, you can whip up the stuffing: combine softened cream cheese with about a tablespoon of honey.
Scoop the cream cheese into a pastry bag. Or a ziploc bag if you're like me and never remember to buy more pastry bags.
Once the muffins have cooled a bit, push the pastry tip into the bottom of the muffin and squeeze that cream cheese goodness into the muffin.
I usually hold the muffin in one hand while I do this so I can feel how much cream cheese I'm injecting. But I'm not talented enough to figure out how to get a photo of me doing that.
Innocent, plain-looking muffins. Your family or weekend guests won't even know what's about to hit them.
Until they take a bite. Then, they're going to love you even more. Or at least really enjoy breakfast.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins
Yields about 18 muffins
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. honey
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and honey. Beat in eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. All at once add the dry ingredients; turn the mixer on and pour in milk to help it all combine.
Evenly divide the batter in the muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove from pan.
Meanwhile, stir together cream cheese and honey. Fill a pastry bag (with a large tip attached) with the mixture. Once the muffins have cooled a bit, insert the tip most of the way into the muffin, squeeze cream cheese in and slowly draw the pastry bag out as the muffin fills. Repeat with remaining muffins.
Serve warm or chill until you're ready to serve. Enjoy!