Here's how my brain works:
My friend Stacy made Caramel Banana Pecan Muffins to share at work the other day and said they were a big hit!
So those babies are subconsciously on my mind.
It's small group day and I'd love to feed my favorite ladies, so I look into the fridge and find:
leftover pumpkin shmear
leftover pumpkin puree from cupcakes
walnuts in the freezer.
A few substitutions on hand and in my head I've constructed Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.
(Can't find pumpkin cream cheese? My friend Aimee over at Barns & Noodles just posted her own version. Click here to make it!)
Since I ate and shared them all, you'll have to follow these instructions to make your own :)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 oz pumpkin cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place muffin liners in one 12 cup muffin pan. Set aside.
Place the walnuts, 2 tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon into a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
Place the pumpkin cream cheese, butter, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine. Add the egg and mix to combine thoroughly. Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Scrape the pumpkin batter from the stand mixer bowl into the dry ingredients and then using a spatula, mix until just combined. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the walnut mixture and mix a couple times to distribute. (Over mixing will cause your muffins to be tough, so beware!)
Using a ice cream scoop, measure out batter and fill each cup 2/3 full. Top with the remaining walnut mixture. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then remove muffins to cool completely on a rack. Or just eat them while they are warm with a little butter!