Henrietta's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Dear Little Red Henrietta brought these muffins to the Adamos' Thanksgiving feast in a little beautiful woven basket lined in red. These were so good everyone refused to believe that Henry had even made them! Hahahahaha oh, the poor sap.

These are surprisingly tasty with a tender crumb--moist and sweet with cream cheese cutting the sweetness with a little tartness. I had no intention to post this on my blog since I haven't actually made it before, but after Henry sent me the recipe and after taking my first bite, I decided last minute that I had to document this moment of triumph for Henry! (I hope this also explains why I only have a picture of a disgusting half eaten muffin.)

Cream Cheese Filling
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Streusel Topping
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.

For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.

Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 18 muffins

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