Cream cheese is a necessity in our household. When we run out, we go into panic mode. Even when my son won't eat anything else, he will eat cream cheese on toast. I'm no different. I love cream cheese on my bagels, in my slow cooker chicken stew, in my fettuccine Alfredo, and especially in my pumpkin muffins from Starbucks.
But you can't get Starbucks' pumpkin cream cheese muffins year-round and so whenever my craving hit when they were out of season, I was fresh out of luck. Until now.
I've been searching for a comparable recipe but wasn't satisfied until I came across this recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker blog.
What was most appealing about this recipe was the technique that freezes the cream cheese filling in a log so that it won't ooze out of the muffin while baking. Brilliant.
Substitutions: Weeelllll, you know me, I can be impatient and rushed, so I didn't freeze the cream cheese filling log for the whole two hours. It was more like 45 minutes. I noticed some commenters who were impatient as me didn't have the best results when they waited as little as 45 minutes. In fact, I probably should have waited longer as the log was softer than it should have been. But you know what? They turned out OK anyway.
Would I make this again? For a quick breakfast on the go? Yes. I froze half the batch and they were great to warm up just before I ran out the door in the morning. These are about half the size of their Starbucks' peers so you won't feel as guilty gorging yourself on them. The cream cheese filling is to die for! And the pecan streusel takes this to a whole other level, maybe even beyond the Starbucks muffins that prompted me to search for this recipe in the first place! But the best thing about this recipe is the cream cheese filling. You bet I'll be freezing my muffin or cupcake fillings from now on. This technique is a winner and you'll want to file it away somewhere safe.
Grade: Four stars out of five. Delicious? Yes. But these muffins take maybe a few more steps than I'd like. And muffins are muffins I know, but these aren't too photogenic are they? That's probably my fault, partly due to my photography skills, but don't let that dissuade you from making these yourself.