Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

We won’t have that crisp cool fall air in Eastern North Carolina until thanksgiving time. But that is not stopping me from pumpkin indulgence! And in preparation for fall baking I have invested in this 32 ounce bottle of Nielsen-Massey Bourbon Vanilla Extract. My BFF brought a super cute little girl into the world recently and I wanted to take something tasty to the hospital. I made these fabulous muffins in under an hour. These muffins are definitely a reason I always keep pecans in my pantry during the fall season. When a muffin recipe says “mix until just combined” it is key that you follow this direction. It’s important not to saturate all the flour, this will make the muffins heavy.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Makes 18 muffins.

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp brown sugar

Pecan Streusel Topping:
4 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
5 tbsp white sugar
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into quarter inch pieces

Muffins:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Make the cream cheese filling
With an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla and brown sugar, until the mixture is smooth.

Make the streusel topping
Mix together the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and pecans in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives.

In a large bowl, combine together flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spices and salt. Mix in the eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla extract. Do not over mix. You should still see some flecks of flour when you are done mixing.

Scoop approximately 3 tbsp of batter into each muffin well. Scoop one tbsp of the cream cheese filling into each one. Cover with the pecan streusel topping.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes. Remove muffin pans from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Adapted from allrecipes.com.

Cinnamon Rolls

Surprisingly I have never made cinnamon rolls… Until now. I made these and I have to say, they are wonderful. I actually froze half and plan on thawing/rising at room temp next time I need a quick breakfast or potluck contribution. [update: rolls thawed, baked, they are perfect!] These have the perfect flavor of sweet dough with the yeasty taste of homemade bread. They are prepared using a stand mixer making them all the easier to churn out in the morning.

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Dough
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temperature
6 cups all purpose flour, sifted
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling
1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup sugar and 3 tsp ground cinnamon mixed together

Glaze
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tbsp hot milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Make the dough
Heat milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar melts and the mixture bubbles gently. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in very warm water (110°F) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until well blended. Let stand 10 minutes.

Beat eggs into yeast mixture. Add in the cooled milk mixture, switch to the dough. Mix in the flour one cup at a time until dough is elastic. Add the melted butter and mix, then add in more flour until dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the mixer. The dough should stick to your hands slightly. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes.

Place dough in a buttered bowl and turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and turnout onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and cut into two pieces. Roll out each piece into 12×9-inch rectangles.

Add the filling
Brush the rolled dough pieces with the melted butter. Sprinkle each with half the cinnamon sugar mixture and roll up lengthwise (see images above). Cut each roll into 12 pieces. [note: after this step I placed half the rolls on a baking sheet and froze them, I then transferred these to a ziploc bag.]

Place slices not quite touching in a well buttered pan. If you are making all the dough at once, they should fit into a 13×9 inch cake pan. I used a 9 inch round pan and made half the dough. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes or until doubled. [to bake frozen rolls, remove from freezer and allow them to thaw and rise for approximately two hours.]

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake rolls for 18-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until golden.

Whisk together glaze ingredients, adding additional milk as needed. Glaze rolls in the pan while they are hot.

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

Blueberry Muffins

I am getting super excited looking at local farms where we can pick berries this summer. This is one of my favorite blueberry recipes. I created this recipe for a purpose. These muffins are made with ingredients that I always have on hand, just add the fresh blueberries. The recipe is super fast to prepare for breakfast.

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I prefer to use fresh blueberries in these muffins. But if you go out this summer and pick a pound too many blueberries, there is an easy trick to store them and make these muffins in a pinch. This can be used for any berry and will prevent them from sticking together in the freezer. Use a large plate or jelly roll pan (depending on the size and dimensions of your freezer). Take a gallon sized freezer bag, put it on the plate, and put berries inside, just enough berries to spread evenly into one layer. Allow them to completely freeze in the bag, then divide them into smaller quart sized bags. You could put 1-1/2 cups of blueberries in a bag and store them in the freezer to be completely ready to make your muffins.

Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

For the muffins:
1 large egg
½ cup milk (I use skim or 2%)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1½ cups blueberries

For the streusel topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a muffin pan with liners or use butter to grease the wells.

Mix the egg, milk, and vegetable oil together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. It is important not to overwork muffin batter. Fold in the blueberries with care.

Use a scoop to divide the batter among the prepared cups. (I use this scoop, 4 tbsp capacity). Let the batter rest a few minutes. Meanwhile make the streusel topping.

In a small bowl, blend all dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter until you have pea-sized clumps. Divide streusel topping among the batter in the muffin wells.

Bake until golden and tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.