Ah, the first pumpkin recipe of the season. Fall truly has descended upon us. On this day in NE Kentucky, this means the humidity is gone, there's a crisp chill in the air, the leaves are falling at an alarming rate, and... pumpkin recipes are all the rage. And I love me some pumpkin. Pumpkin pie is one of my most favorite pies. It's right up there with cherry and raspberry pies. Oh, and chocolate pie. Blueberry. Mmmmm. Ok, maybe I just like pie. Good thing, because these little muffins truly taste like pumpkin pie.
These muffins are so perfectly moist and tasty. The vanilla-cream cheese topping makes it taste like a dollop of whip cream on a slice of pie. I wasn't expecting such WOW results, but hey, I'll take it. The recipes makes a fairly large batch, about 18 muffins, but I had no trouble pawning these off on family members. They were gone in the blink of an eye. Well, excluding the ones I saved for hubby, but let me tell you, those are long gone too.
Making and devouring these were a little like dipping my toe into the water. I'm fully ready to be submerged in pumpkin now. I'm craving pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin smoothies- doesn't a pumpkin pie smoothie sound to-die-for?? Meaning, this is only the beginning. Beware-plenty of pumpkin recipes to follow...
I am feeling a little pep in my step this morning. I just got word from my mom, who was waiting on results from a bone density test, that her scan was clear! This news made my morning. On top of that, it's a perfectly, crisp fall morning without rain. One thing I'm seriously enjoying about this fall is running. It was a difficult, struggle-some summer running in the humidity. Where I thought I'd gotten out of shape because I could only run 2.5 miles without getting dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, and cold, I've realized I was overheating. Simply due to the weather, not to my conditioning. But running in this cool weather, I feel like a million bucks. I ran 5 miles in 48 minutes yesterday, definitely a feat for me. And not something I could accomplish at 75º with 90% humidity. Most of my miles were sub-10's. I'm pretty darn slow, so I'm super-proud I was able to do this.
One other fact that has me in the groove this morning? The hubby and I leave for Cancun in 9 days! Holy moly. I've still got a few items to pick up for the trip (i.e. 20 bottles of SPF, please) but I've got the essentials. A million swimsuits, since I'll be living in them. Plenty of sundresses. Flippy floppies. A house sitter :) Yep, I think we are set and I'm just counting down the days till the hubby and I fly out of Cincinnati. Finally, 5 years later, we are getting the honeymoon done.
So, yay, it's almost the weekend! Truth be told, the hubby's had the whole week off and we have been maximizing his down time. Lots of movies. Bingeing on TV shows. Making homemade Chinese food. Devouring carrot cake. And for the hubby, an abundance of video games. We love making the most of our relaxation time. Sadly though, he has to work all weekend, so I'll be left to my own devices. I'm halfway through "Divergent" (I know, I'm so behind the times) so finishing that book and moving on to the next is numero uno on my list.
After baking something pumpkin, of course :)
Ingredients (makes 18 muffins):
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 cup milk
Cream Cheese Topping-
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners (18 liners). Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Mix with a whisk by hand until combined. Mix in eggs. Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda and flour. Mix in one cup of flour mixture. Mix in milk. Mix in remaining flour mixture. Do not over mix, mix until just combined. Divide batter equally among liners.
4. In another bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer. Mix until completely smooth. Drop 1 tbsp of cream cheese mixture onto each muffin.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storage. I stored mine in a bowl with a kitchen towel over them due to how moist they turned out. Store in the fridge if you are not eating all the muffins within the first day or two.
|Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust.|