Instead of doing the prudent thing and freezing what remained of my puree, I went into cooking for comfort mode and made a batch of these three-part gluten-free pumpkin cream cheese muffins. That means, muffins that have three delicious recipes inside one recipe. I know! But if I’m headed to Texas I’d better bring my own muffins. Plus, it’s really fun to look around your flight and wonder who else might have fresh-baked breakfast treats in their purse. That’s a good time, and you should try it.
I will say that I halved the amount of cream cheese and powdered sugar in the original recipe (ummm, totally because I’m watching my dairy and sugar – not at all because someone had used the other half on their bagels). Additionally I excluded the 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice because of that whole late at night and not wanting to go to the store thing. I cannot imagine that made a difference. Also, what is pumpkin pie spice? Really? I’m thinking that the nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon combo covers the “spice” portion for this recipe.
In the interest of full disclosure of my laziness, I also did not go to the store to purchase muffin liners. I used a non-stick spray in the muffin tins and those babies popped right out. So let’s say it’s optional – spray or liners. Go crazy.
More complicated than most muffin recipes, yet totally worth it, be sure you mix up the cream cheese filling a few hours prior to your baking hour as it needs time to chill in the freezer. I’m one of those people who just grabs a few moments in the kitchen, so this would normally have tripped me up. Luckily I have children that have to be fed, bathed, and talked to so I had a few hours between deciding on this recipe and actually being able to make it.
So here I am in the airport enjoying my gluten-free muffin with my ginormous cappuccino. I know everyone around me is jealous to the max. And wondering why I travel with Tupperware. But they’ll never know because I am such a woman of mystery.
Here’s how you can be the weirdo on your flight too!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Prep time: 20 minutes plus 2 hours chill time Cook time: 25 minutes
For the filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons gluten-free flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1. Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of parchment paper and shape into a log about ½ inch in diameter. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours. The mixture will still be somewhat soft but firmer.
2. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners or use non-stick spray in muffin tin. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
4. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
5. Fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.
Makes: 24 muffins