Thursday, November 10, 2011

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Sweet Cream Cheese 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Candied Pumpkin Seeds 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 1 tablespoon water 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) Muffin Batter 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree 3/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Make the sweet cream cheese by using an electric mixer to combine 4 ounces cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth, and then cover and chill until firm.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Make the candied pumpkin seeds by combining the light brown sugar, water, and cinnamon in a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir constantly as the water evaporates and the sugar crystallizes on the nuts, about 2 minutes. When you see the sugar starting to harden on the seeds, immediately turn off the heat and pour them out onto a plate to cool. Separate any seeds that are stuck together.

4. To make the muffin batter, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and salt in a medium bowl.

5. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the eggs, sugars, and vanilla. Mix for about 30 seconds, and then add the pumpkin and oil. Mix again for another 30 seconds. Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well for 30 seconds, or until batter is smooth.

5. Spoon the batter into paper muffin cups lining a 12-cup muffin tin. The batter should be level with the top of each cup. Scoop up approximately 1 tablespoon of the sweetened cream cheese with a teaspoon and use your fingers to press it down into the middle of each cup of batter. Sprinkle some candied pumpkin seeds over each muffin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly browned on top and a toothpick stuck into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Tidbits: These muffins freeze well for several months. Defrost at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours before serving.

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