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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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There’s nothing like pumpkin anything to kick off the fall season…  Pumpkin scones, pumpkin spice drinks, and of course pumpkin cream cheese muffins.  Starbucks really knows their pumpkin baked goods….

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(This photo is from a more successful pumpkin season…)  Unfortunately this year’s pumpkin crop in the backyard is pretty much non-existent because I was far too late getting the plants in the ground.  While there is no shortage of foliage to my plants, the actual pumpkins are maybe 2″ diameter and probably wont amount to anything.  Thankfully I still have perfectly good puree preserved from years’ past still in my freezer.  I was aiming for ‘as good as Starbucks’ with this muffin recipe, however I have to say I think these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are actually better!

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PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 45 min    YIELD: 12
Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Centre:

  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a package)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Pumpkin Seed Topping:

  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pumpkin Muffin Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tbsp buttermilk
 Directions:
  1. For Cream Cheese Centres: combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Place in the fridge and chill until you’re ready to use; this makes it a bit easier to handle later.
  2. For Pumpkin Seed Topping (optional, but well worth it): Line a plate or baking tray with parchment paper and set to the side.  Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat, and add pepitas, stirring frequently.  When pepitas begin to pop after 3 to 5 minutes, add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the pan.  Stir continuously until the sugar begins to caramelize.  Carefully remove the seeds from the pan and place onto the parchment lined plate to cool.  Once cooled, break apart for sprinkling on top of muffins.
  3. For Pumpkin Muffins:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tray with paper cups.  Combine dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, salt, and sugars.  I had substituted coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar.   Whisk together and set aside.
  4. In large mixing bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, pumpkin puree, canola oil, and buttermilk and mix with an electric mixer just to combine.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl gradually and mix just until combined, 30-60 seconds.
  5. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full with batter.  Add a dollop (about a level teaspoon) of the chilled cream cheese mixture to the centre of each muffin, then cover with remaining batter to fill the muffin cup.  Sprinkle candied pumpkin seed topping on top, then place in oven.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted (not through the cream cheese!) comes out clean.

 

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Pumpkin Scones

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Exclamation Mark!  Why? because of pumpkin season, and that means pumpkin baked goods, among other pumpkiny things… and one of my favourite pumpkiny things: Pumpkin Scones.

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Thank you to google for helping me stumble upon this Starbucks pumpkin scone copycat recipe from Cooking Classy and adjusted the recipe slightly.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 40 min    YIELD: 12
Ingredients:

Scones:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter or shortening
  • 3 tbsp milk + 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp pumpkin purée

Glaze:

  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp (or as needed) milk

Pumpkin Spice Icing:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • milk just as needed
 Directions:
  1. For Scones: preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor pulse together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, brown sugar and granulated sugar until well blended (if you don’t have a food processor you can whisk by hand in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry cutter). Add butter and pulse mixture several times to cut butter into mixture (large pieces of butter should no longer be visible). Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and create a well in centre.
  2. In a bowl whisk together chilled pumpkin purée, buttermilk, egg, vanilla extract and honey. Pour mixture into well in flour/butter mixture. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then knead in bowl (or on work surface) by hand several times to bring mixture together. Dust a work surface with flour then invert dough onto surface. Pat and shape dough into an even 8-inch round. Using a large knife, slice into 8 equal wedges (dust knife with flour as needed while cutting, it will be fairly sticky).
  3. Transfer scones to a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tbsp half and half then bake in preheated oven 13 – 15 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes (no longer) before spreading with glaze.
    1. In small bowl, combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least ~15 minutes before using.  Use right away on pizza or as desired, keep refrigerated for 2-3 days, or (what I like to do) make a bigger batch of it then portion it out and freeze it for future use.

    2. For glaze: In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar and half and half, adding more half and half as needed to reach desired consistency (it should be fairly thick not runny). Spoon and spread mixture scones to evenly coat tops (use all of it). Let glaze set at room temperature.
    3. For pumpkin spice icing: In a mixing bowl (I just used the one from the glaze above without cleaning out) whisk together powdered sugar, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and half and half. Transfer mixture to a small Ziploc bag, seal bag, cut a small tip from corner and drizzle mixture over tops of scones. Allow icing to set. Best served day prepared.