Sunday, December 9, 2012

Caramel Glazed Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

All five of my kids (ages 2-10) seriously devoured these muffins this morning. I was really glad I had made 24! My 2 year old finished her first one (without the caramel) and was on to a second one before I finished putting the caramel on the tops.
Line 24 muffin cups with paper baking cups or brush tins with this easy release. Pre-heat oven to 375°.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ c brown sugar
¼ c powdered sugar
1 egg
2 t vanilla bean paste (or regular vanilla)

Combine all of the ingredients and beat until smooth. Set aside.

Pumpkin Muffin Batter:
2 2/3 c flour
1 ¼ c brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 t pumpkin pie spice (You can also use a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in place of this if you don’t have it)
½ t. ginger
3 eggs
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c veg. oil
2 t vanilla bean paste (regular vanilla is fine, too)

Mix together flour, both sugars, baking powder, salt, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. Add eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Scoop 1-2 T. of this batter into each muffin cup. Next, place 1 T. of the vanilla cream cheese mixture into each of the muffin cups. Top each one with another T. of the muffin batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes (adjust cooking time as needed). While muffins are baking make the caramel topping.

Vanilla Bean Caramel Topping:(optional)
1 c. cream
1/2 t. sea salt
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla bean paste (You can use regular vanilla instead, this is just what I had)

Pour the cream or milk into a small saucepan and place on a low to medium heat. Add the salt and vanilla to the saucepan and stir to dissolve. Bring to a steady simmer, and then add the brown sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bring the mixture to a steady, low boil, and stir frequently. It takes about 5-10 minutes to get to the desired consistency.

When the muffins are done you can either dip the tops of each one into the caramel or drizzle the caramel over the tops of each muffin.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Variation:
Skip the filling and the topping. Add chocolate chips to the batter.

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