And so it came to be that my Aunt Claudia's homework read, "I will autumn down the hill."
I love that story! =) I think she moved to Florida solely to escape any mention of autumn ever again. Or maybe it was because of her allergies. Yeah, maybe that was it. (But we know the truth.)
Besides an adorable family anecdote, I also have a recipe for you today. True story. And it involves pumpkin because it is, indeed, that time of year! This is another recipe I found on Pinterest - it's from Annie's Eats. My friend Ashley D. had told me she pinned it *and* made it - and that it was wonderfully fantastic. She was correct. Oh, boy, was she correct!! These were the best muffins I've ever made. Seriously. They're incredibly moist, with the perfect amount of sweetness and spiciness, and a lovely balance of textures. They do take a little bit longer to put together than regular muffins, but they make two dozen large ones, so you get to have plenty for yourself and also plenty to share. Wonder of wonders!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. confectioner's sugar
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin puree (I used 1 large can of pumpkin and enough applesauce to make up the rest)
1 1/4 c. vegetable (or canola) oil
Streusel topping ingredients:
1/2 c. sugar
5 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces (I used salted)
Combine the softened cream cheese and confectioner's sugar with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. You may want to shape this into a log and wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You can freeze this for 2 hours, which will help the cream cheese middle to stay put in the middle of the muffin while it cooks. This is only an option, though. I had fine luck just spooning the mixture in between layers of the muffin batter with no freezing beforehand. The cream cheese may rise to the top and spill out a little on some of them, but I didn't mind that.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin pan with paper liners. Combine the dry ingredients (minus the sugar) in a medium bowl. Combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil with an electric mixer on medium low. On a low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
To prepare the streusel topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl and cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Drop 1-2 Tbsp. of batter into each muffin cup. Add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture (or a frozen, sliced section) on top of it. Fill the muffin cups with the remaining amount of batter, completely covering the cream cheese. Sprinkle a generous amount of the streusel topping onto each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool a little before serving; the cream cheese filling can get pretty warm!
Adapted from Annie's Eats