In only a week’s time that Fall has officially begun, my social media timelines have been flooded with Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I even jumped on the bandwagon and made a Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie for breakfast one morning. In my mind, and apparently in America’s mind, the season does not really begin until you have one. If you haven’t had a pumpkin “something”, in your part of the world it’s still summer. This week I probably will break out the apples, then it will really be on!
So…these muffins you came for. Be forewarned. They are life-changing, and your body will double-dog-dare you to eat just one. I’m serious.
A few years ago before I started culinary school, I worked for the state as a secretary. There are many things that I don’t miss about having that job, but honey, office potlucks. Sometimes you get dealt a bad hand with office workers and everyone wants to cook but no one…can…actually…cook? And then there are times that you get lucky like I did, and work at an office where they want to have a potluck for any and every occasion and everyone is either the next Food Network Star or the Next Food Networks Star’s mother. Yep. That was my office.
This season always reminds me of that job, and that time in my life because it seems like every other week we were eating something. Fall and winter holidays were a BIG deal. So back to these muffins…
There was a lady who I will call “Mrs. V”. She ALWAYS brought pumpkin bread when there was an office potluck. It was truly the most delicious pumpkin bread, and was laced with a cheesecake-like filling. With hot chocolate, it was perfection. (I wasn’t a coffee drinker then.) It was easily the best piece of bread that I had ever had. She reminded me of my grandmother. She wasn’t nearly as old as my grandmother, but she was one of those women…you know those women. It’s easier to pry teeth from a Great White Shark’s mouth, than to get their kitchen secrets. Insert major side eye at them. Anyway, she knew you were going to devour this bread, and she also knew that you would never figure out how to make it. (This was life before Pinterest.)
What she DIDN’T know is that I was on my way to becoming a BEAST in these baking streets and I may not have had the recipe, but I’m bold enough to say I came pretty darn close with these muffins.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Yields 1 dozen
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c. Sugar
1c. Canned Pumpkin
1tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 1/4c. All Purpose Flour
1tsp. Baking Powder
1tsp. Baking Soda
1tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Ground Allspice
8oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
2T Maple Syrup
1/2tsp. Vanilla Extract
3/4c. All purpose Flour
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2tsp. Kosher Salt
1/3c. Brown Sugar
1/4c. Granulated Sugar (White Sugar)
6Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cold
1c. Chopped Pecans
Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl cream sugar and butter together until mixed well. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla extract until smooth.
In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. Slowly fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Don’t over mix. Once you can’t see the flour anymore, its combined.
Set batter aside. In another bowl mix all filling ingredients together, until smooth. Then set that bowl aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the streusel ingredients together, until crumbly. The butter must be cold, and don’t pulse too much and break the nuts all the way down. 2 or 3 pulses should do the trick. **Streusel will make more than enough. It can be stored safely for weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
In a prepared muffin pan, pour in half of the pumpkin batter. Fill cups about ⅓ of the way. Spoon the cheeescake mixture into each cup. Pour remaining pumpkin mixture on top of cheesecake.
Top each muffin with streusel and bake for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. They are great for a weekend brunch or a weekday breakfast with coffee. Enjoy!