Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Muffins are not a go-to for me when it comes to baking. I have a great recipe for Blueberry Muffins that I normally make a few times a year and once in a blue moon I will make chocolate chip ones. I did try making a Pumpkin Crumb Muffin once and they were a disaster. By the time the muffins had finished baking the crumb topping had essentially melted into the muffin and let’s face it, the best part of any crumb muffin is the crumb topping!I did have success making these Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins a few months ago and decided to try another pumpkin based muffin again after coming across a recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. They reminded me of a Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread I have made a few times to rave reviews so I figured a pumpkin version would be just as delicious.

After making the batter for the muffins I divided it among a muffin tin that I lined with paper liner.

Next, I made the cream cheese mixture and then dolloped about a tablespoon of it over each muffin and then swirled it with a toothpick.

After baking in a 375F oven for about 20 minutes my muffins were ready.

And after letting them cool for a bit I tried one and it was delicious. The cream cheese swirl adds a nice sweetness to this super moist muffin.

FYI… I halved the recipe to use some leftover pumpkin puree I had from another recipe (a cookie one I will be sharing next week during Cookie Palooza). Also, instead of using a cupcake tin and making “mini” muffins, I opted to use a jumbo muffin tin and ended up making 6 large muffins. This also increased my baking time to 25-30 minutes.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tablespoons pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 15oz. can pumpkin puree

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

Cream Cheese Swirl:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer beat together the pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until there are no lumps.

Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full.

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue beating until combined.

Top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture and then using a toothpick swirl it into the batter.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe from The Novice Chef Blog

Pumpkin Biscotti

I’m not really sure why I haven’t tried making biscotti before. I have read some other bloggers failed attempts at baking them. Leaving them with a love/hate relationship for the crispy cookie. My love/hate relationship is the fact that while they are delicious they are sometimes too crunchy. And yes, I know biscotti is meant to be enjoyed by dipping it into a nice hot beverage to combat that issue, but, I am just not a fan of a possible mushy cookie. I was planning making biscotti for the first time as part of this year’s Cookie Palooza after coming across a recipe for a pistachio cranberry one during my magazine cleanout I mentioned a few posts back – and I very well may still do so – but, I am thinking Almond Biscotti now. So, how did I deviate from my original biscotti plan? I came across a pumpkin version on Instagram and around the same time I was looking for pumpkin treats to bake for a friend’s birthday. She loves pumpkin and biscotti so it was a win win situation all around to try out the recipe.

To make the dough, I began by beating softened butter, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder together. Per the recipe the mixture was supposed to get creamy. It didn’t happen though. Not sure if it was because I was using my hand mixer vs. my stand mixer, but, the ingredients did combine just never into a creamy consistency. Next I added in an egg and pumpkin puree. At this point my mixture did become creamy. And finally I added in flour at low speed. The resulting dough was very sticky.

I transferred the dough to a baking sheet I lined with parchment paper. And yes, I had used that parchment paper before. I was baking chocolate chip cookies prior to making the biscotti. I simply flipped the parchment paper over and used the other side for the biscotti. And in case you are wondering or weren’t aware, it’s perfectly safe to use parchment paper more than once. Just make sure if you are gifting the cookies to anyone they don’t have any allergies that could be affected by a different batch of cookies you made. Since the dough was sticky I did my best to form it into two rectangles. The recipe said 10 x 2 1/2, I ended up with 9 x 2 1/2. I did my best to get it to 10 inches, but, it wasn’t happening.

Next, I smoothed both rectangles with a small offset spatula that I dipped in water. I then sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar and lightly pressed the cinnamon sugar into the dough.

Then it was time for the first bake. I baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for 25 minutes. I then removed the pan from the oven, lowered the temperature of the oven to 325 F and waited 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes I transferred one of the logs to a cutting board and using a large serrated knife sliced it into 1/2 inch sliced. I measured the first one and eyeballed the remaining ones.

I repeated this with the second long and then placed all of the cut biscotti on edge back on the baking sheet and returned it to the oven for about 40 minutes. At the end of the bake time I checked on the biscotti and they were beginning to brown around the edges and were just a tad soft in the center, as per the recipe they should be. So, I turned the oven off and opened the oven door a few inches so they could cool inside the oven.

And once cool I had a delicious batch of Pumpkin Biscotti. And I must mention that my house smelled delicious while baking these. That’s enough of a reason to bake up a batch.

 

Pumpkin Biscotti

  • Servings: approximately 30 pieces
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Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 cups all-purpose flour

Cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat the softened butter, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt on medium speed until the mixture is combined. Add in the egg and pumpkin puree and continue beating until the mixture is smooth. On low speed add in the flour and continue mixing until smooth. The dough will be sticky.

Transfer the dough to the parchment lined baking sheet and divide in half. Shape it into two 10” x 2 1/2” rectangles. Using a wet offset spatula smooth the top and sides of the rectangles.

Sprinkle the top of both with cinnamon sugar and lightly press it into the dough.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

Wait 5 minutes then transfer one of the logs to a cutting board and using a large serrated knife slice the log crosswise into 1/2” slices. Be sure to cut the biscotti straight up and down so that they are cut evenly. If you cut unevenly the biscotti may topple over during the second bake. Do the same with the second log.

Place the biscotti on edge back on the baking sheet and return them to the oven for an additional 40 to 45 minutes. Until the biscotti begins to brown around the edges and still a bit soft in the middle. Turn the oven off, open the door a few inches and let the biscotti cool completely in the oven.

Once cool, remove and store in an airtight container.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Monday has become my day for sharing new pumpkin recipes with you. That’s not a bad way to kick off the week if you ask me. Today’s recipe is a Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake. It’s a nice light dessert that creates its own sauce for drizzling while baking. I found the recipe during a recent cleaning/organizing frenzy. I went through a bunch of holiday baking magazines I had sitting on a bookshelf for quite some time (some for almost 10 years.) I had flagged recipes in each of them and then never made them. I found quite a few pumpkin recipes, some cookie recipes, and some other goodies that I am hoping to try out sooner rather than later.

You may be wondering how exactly this cake created its own sauce. Well, after making the batter for the cake I spread it into an 8x8x2-inch baking pan I sprayed with baking spray and then sprinkled the top with brown sugar and cinnamon. Next, I poured a mixture of boiling water and butter over the top of the cake prior to baking. While baking the water combines with the sugar and cinnamon to create a sauce under the cake. You may be tempted to reduce the amount of brown sugar you sprinkle over the cake thinking a cup is too much (I did!), but, the end result isn’t overly-sweet. Since the cake itself isn’t that sweet it offers a perfect balance for the cake.

After baking the cake in a 350 F preheated oven for about 35 minutes I let the cake cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

And the best way to enjoy this cake is warm with the sauce drizzled on top with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream on the side. I made the mistake of letting the cake cool for too long before enjoying a piece so I placed it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it up and then added my ice cream.

If you are really in a pumpkin mood you could also make my No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream from last week to go along with this cake. The best part, you can try both recipes with just 1 can of pumpkin puree.

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray and 8x8x2-inch square pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the 1/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, pumpkin puree and vanilla and continue beating until the mixture become light and fluffy again. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until just combined. Transfer the mixture to prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the batter and then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon over the sugar.

In a measuring cup combine the boiling water with the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until the butter is melted. Pour this over the batter in the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then spoon the cake into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the syrup from the pan over it.

Recipe from Mixing Bowl Magazine from Fall/Winter 2010

No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

One thing I have yet to come across during the season of pumpkin spice craze is pumpkin spice ice cream. Now, I am sure if you go to a specialty ice cream shop you may find it, but what I am referring to is a pint or carton of it at your local grocery store. I have seen pumpkin cheesecake, but, never just plain old pumpkin. Quite a few years ago I actually made a pumpkin ice cream using my ice cream maker but recently while chatting with a friend she mentioned the same thing, that she wished they would sell a pumpkin spice ice cream and that got me thinking to tweak my original recipe to create a no-churn version.

I began by placing a metal bowl and the beaters of my hand mixer in the freezer for about 30 minutes. While those items chilled I combined a can of condensed milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisked them together until they were well blended. Once the bowl and beaters were chilled I used them to beat heavy cream until stiff peaks formed making sure not to overbeat the cream. Next, I gently folded in the whipped cream to the pumpkin mixture. I added about half of the whipped cream at first and then the remaining half and continued folding the two mixtures together until no streams of either remained.

Once the two mixtures were combined I transferred it to a metal loaf pan. I smoothed the top and then placed a piece of wax paper directly on the surface so ice crystals wouldn’t form on the ice cream. I wrapped the pan with aluminum foil and let it freeze overnight.

The following day I removed the aluminum foil and wax paper and let the ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping some out to enjoy.

And while I loved it and it tasted just as good as my original ice cream maker version, I will point out that due to the addition of real pumpkin you will get an authentic pumpkin taste with this ice cream. Not just the pumpkin spice flavor that many people prefer over actual pumpkin.

No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a medium bowl beat the heavy cream using a hand held mixer until stiff peaks form, do not overbeat. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the condensed milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well combined.

Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture for a few folds and then add in the remaining whipped cream. Continue to gently folding the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture until no streaks of either remain.

Transfer the mixture to a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan. Smooth the top and place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper directly on the surface and then cover with aluminum foil.

Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. When ready to scoop, remove the aluminum foil and the plastic wrap (or wax paper) and let sit for a few minutes at room temperature.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

I tried making pumpkin muffins once or twice before and they have always been a fail. Once I tried making a crumb topped pumpkin muffin and the crumb on top was a disaster. Instead of creating a nice crust on top of the muffin it baked into the muffin. Which was weird since I mimicked the crumb topping from these blueberry muffins that have always turned out great. I am assuming it had something to do with the batter. And another time I tried making a pumpkin muffin similar to the recipe of the pumpkin bread I normally make. Once again, a fail in my book. It lacked any flavor. I wasn’t giving up though. I’ve made pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cake, a pumpkin tiramisu, and a few savory pumpkin dishes so I was not about to let a muffin get the best of my pumpkin baking.

Around this time of year Chobani gets in on the pumpkin craze and releases their pumpkin blended yogurts. For the past couple of years they had a Pumpkin Harvest Crisp Flip Yogurt that had pie crust pieces, glazed pumpkin seeds and pecans (YUM!) When I went looking for it this year they replaced it with an Autumn Harvest Crisp Flip Yogurt with pecans, cranberries and gingersnap crust. I like it, but definitely not as much the previous version. I think it’s the gingersnap crust that is throwing it off for me. Not really sure why they changed it… The Pumpkin Harvest Crisp was so good and had good reviews. While eating it for breakfast one day I thought that maybe a pumpkin muffin with pecans and cranberries would be a winner. I was thinking about converting a pumpkin cupcake recipe into a muffin recipe, but decided I didn’t want another fail so I turned to Google and did a few searches. Soon enough I came across a recipe for a Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin. It had some good reviews and pretty much used ingredients I already had on hand. I made one tweak to the recipe though. The original recipe called for just using cinnamon (1tsp.) and ginger (1/2 tsp.) and I just felt that that wouldn’t be enough spice to enhance the pumpkin flavor. So, I upped it to 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. This way not only would there be cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter, but also allspice, cloves and nutmeg.

One thing I should note about these muffins is that they are a 1-bowl muffin. Meaning, you add all of the ingredients to one bowl and then beat or stir to combine them. I honestly did try to whisk all of the ingredients together, but, the mixture was just too thick so I had to break out my hand mixer.

After mixing the ingredients until they were just combined I divided them into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners – about 1/4 cup of batter in each. The recipe called for 12 muffins, but, I ended up with 15. To ensure that the remaining three baked well I filled the empty cavities of that muffin tin with water about half-way up. I then sprinkled some of the muffins with coarse sugar.

After baking for about 20 minutes I removed them from the oven and transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once they were cool I tried one and I was very happy that I had switched up the spices. I think the original recipe of just cinnamon and ginger would have produce a muffin that was a bit on the bland side.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

  • Servings: 12 Muffins
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Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Coarse sugar, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add in the pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, cranberries and pecans and using a handheld mixer on the low setting beat the mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake tin (about 1/4 cup in each). If you have remaining batter prep a second a cupcake tin and fill the empty crevices with water about halfway up.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean from the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe modified from Betty Crocker

Slow Cooker Sunday: Pumpkin Cheesecake

I am sneaking in one more pumpkin recipe this season before the Holidays take over… A Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake. This is actually the third cheesecake I’ve made in my slow cooker. Earlier this year I shared with you a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and a Sour Cream Cheesecake. Out of the three, this one is my favorite. What can I say… I am a fan of Pumpkin. I actually adapted this recipe for a slow cooker as the original one called for it to be made in a pressure cooker. While I do own one, only because it was my parents, I am a bit fearful of using it. I remember my mom always using it to make beans. She preferred using dry beans over can ones to make habichuelas guisada (stewed beans) so she would use the pressure cooker to soften them up before making them in the stew… YUM! Maybe one day I will work up the courage to using it, but, for now, it is perfectly situated on the back of a shelf in my cabinet.

I began by making the crust. In my food processor I pulsed graham crackers into crumbs. I transferred the crumbs to a medium bowl and added in melted butter, cinnamon and sugar and mixed it together until it was well combined. I then pressed the crumbs into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 6-inch springform pan that I sprayed with cooking spray.

Next, I made the filling. I beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth and then added in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, flour, and whipping cream and continued beating until it was well blended. Finally, I added in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat it until just combined. I then poured this into the prepared crust.

I placed a rack in the insert of my slow cooker and then filled it with a 1/2-inch of water (about 2 cups for my 6qt. slow cooker) and then placed the pan on top of the rack. I covered it and cooked it on high for 2 hours. The center should still be a bit wobbly and the rest of the cheesecake set. You don’t want to overbake it. After the 2 hours, I turned off my slow cooker and left it covered so the cheesecake could cool. After the hour, I removed the pan and transferred it to a wire rack so it could cool completely.

After refrigerating it overnight, the following day I enjoyed a slice!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (from 7 graham crackers)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

Filling:

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place a rack inside the insert of your slow cooker and fill with a 1/2 inch of water (about 2 cups for a 6qt. slow cooker).

In a medium bowl mix the graham crack crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Press the crumbs in the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, flour and whipping cream and continue beating until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Pour into the prepared crust.

Place the pan onto the rack inside of the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 2 hours. Turn the slow cooker off and keeping the lid on, let the cheesecake cool in the slow cooker for an hour. After the hour, remove the cheesecake and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least four before serving.

Recipe adapted from Dear Crissy

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

One day while brainstorming for pumpkin dessert ideas I thought to myself that Pumpkin Spice Madeleines would be a nice treat. Then a few days later while I was at Starbucks ordering my usual Venti Black Tea Lemonade Sweetened guess what I saw next to the register… Pumpkin Spice Madeleines. I didn’t purchase them as I am partial to their regular madeleines and since I was planning on making a version myself I didn’t want their flavor to cloud my judgment as to how mine should taste.

Originally I was planning on tweaking the recipe I used for Vanilla Madeleines to make a Pumpkin Spice version, but then I came across a recipe that required less ingredients and less time. Both are always a plus. Although I did have my doubts. Especially since the ingredient list did differ greatly in the basics – the amount of eggs, oil vs. butter, the amount of flour and so forth. Thankfully those doubts were futile, these madeleines were a hit! An 8 year old who initially make a yucky face when I told her what they were enjoyed them. And the day after I made them I got a request for more. And I recently made a third batch. So, what do they taste like? Well, I’ll say this, if you like pumpkin bread you’ll love these madeleines. They are made with actual pumpkin purée as well as the spices that make up the notorious pumpkin spice flavor – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

  • Servings: 24 Madeleines
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Ingredients:

3/4 cup pumpkin purée

2 eggs

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray your Madeleine pans with cooking spray or grease with butter or oil.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the pumpkin, eggs, sugar and oil until smooth. In a medium bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients, except for the confectioners’ sugar, and whisk together.

With the mixer on low speed add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Spoon a tablespoonful of the batter into each cavity of the madeleine pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are puffed up and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and the transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

*If you only have 1 madeleine pan wipe it clean after the first batch and then re-grease it before filling the cavities with the remaining batter.

Recipe from The Yellow Table