Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TWD: Pumpkin Muffins (x2)

This week, Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp chose Pumpkin Muffins for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. As soon as I saw that recipe, I was reminded of another pumpkin muffin recipe I had saved on my computer weeks ago but never got to. I looked at this as a great chance to host a great pumpkin muffin battle! Which would win?!

Round 1: First I started with Dorie's. For the original recipe, click on the link to Kelly's blog above. This recipe was pretty standard recipe that was easy to put together. The only differences were of course the yummy pumpkin pie-like spices. Mmmm! I followed the recipe as is except for using raw, unsalted sunflower seeds. I couldn't find these at my local grocery store, and I'm getting to the point where if there is an ingredient that I can't find within 10 minutes at my store and it isn't a necessity, it doesn't make it in the recipe! LOL! Anyhow, I poured the batter into my new silicone muffin cups (thank you Target $1 spot!) and hoped for the best. After 15 minutes of baking, I peeked in on these and was alarmed at how much those rose! I was afraid they were going to explode out of the cups! After 5 more minutes, I checked for doneness and luckily they were baked through without any ka-booms!

After letting these cool, I decided to try releasing the muffins from their $1 spot silicone cups. I started to slowly peel back, saying a little prayer that I didn't get ripped off, when suddenly, the muffin cup popped right off! WHA?! I tried with another and those little muffin cups popped off like a dream! Those things are AH-MAZE-ING! (Yes, I do know it's not spelled like that!) So if you haven't traveled to your local $1 spot at Target, you must pick these up if any are left. They were perfect for these muffins. I mean, just look how cute they look too!

So how did the muffin taste? These were pretty good! They were quite as "pumpkiny" as maybe I was expecting, but they were still good! I give them, 3.5 stars out of 5. Now on to its competitor -- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin.

Round 2: I found this recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins over at Annie's Eats. It involves beating some cream cheese with powdered sugar, rolling into a log, chilling, then slicing. Fill the cupcake well with batter, drop in a slice of cream cheese, cover with batter, then top with streusel. It was a little longer of a process, but so worth it! Here is the recipe as it is written on her blog:

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins


For the muffins:

3 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

4 eggs

1 ¼ cups vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

For the streusel topping:

½ cup sugar

¼ cup and 1 tsp. flour

4 tbsp. butter, cubed

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon


To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until smooth. Form into a log on plastic wrap or foil, making sure that the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours.

To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

To make the streusel topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well halfway with batter. Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices. Place a slice in each muffin well. Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups, on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

I assembled the muffins exactly as directed but my cream cheese rose up to the surface for some reason. Anyone know why? Maybe I just need to place it in closer to the bottom. Either way, these turned out awesome! These had a more "pumpkiny" flavor. I could smell pumpkin and spices just biting into it. HEAVEN! My favorite part though may have been the streusel topping. I've not made a muffin with that type of topping before and it really took the muffin up a notch.

So the final verdict? Well, my DH said that he liked both muffins. Each had something different to offer. He liked the raisins in Dorie's, but liked the streusel topping of the cream cheese one. With everyone else who surveyed them though, there was just one clear winner...

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins wins the battle of the Pumpkin Muffins!

I look forward to making these again actually! When I do, I may have to break out my jumbo muffin tin and make some jigundous ones! Yumm!

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