Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

My first recipe off Pinterest!  My mom was flipping through a magazine and said, "I need to make muffins today."  I jokingly said, "I'll make pumpkin cream cheese muffins," and somehow I got stuck with the job.

This is the picture off Pinterest, from the original site, not mine.

Yield 24 muffins


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, the cream cheese filling gets very hot.


Despite looking so complex, these were actually incredibly easy to make.  And definitely incredibly delicious.  The recipe is from here, but I cut down the sugar from the original 2 cups.  That's just too much for me, especially with the filling and topping.

I had about a cup of pumpkin puree left over, so I halved the recipe and made just the muffins (no filling or topping) for my kiddos at work.

Check out more on my Recipes page!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten on Ten :: September 2011

Today was the home-opener for CU.  We lost 36-33 in overtime to Cal.  (Even though we recently joined the Pac-12, it was a non-conference game.)  It's better than last year; we lost 52-7 in Berkley last September.

An exciting day to be back on Ten on Ten after missing August 2011.  Link up here

Here are some other pictures from the game (excluded from Ten on Ten, but also not enough for another post).

Our yellow rainbow.

Julie, honorary member of the family.

Rachel and Dad.

Three of the four brothers.

At the Harvest House.


We found Sam!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Leif & Twig

I haven't posted anything recently, including cute kitten pictures, so I figured I would bombard you with some...

Their first time on my bed.

Finding their spots.


She doesn't know how to get down!

Getting cozy.

They are just too cute. I can't get over it!


Leif again.

I find them here every day.

Their first trip to the great outdoors.

Twig liked the leaves a lot more than Leif, which is ironic.

They're doing so well after just a few weeks.  I let them stay in my room during the day, but I usually leave my door open after lunch so they can have the whole house.  They have come such a long way since they've been here.  Shy little Twig now crawls all over us begging to be scratched.  They are just both so sweet.

Last night I decided to let them sleep in my room for the first time.  That didn't work out so well.  I got home and went straight to bed, so they hadn't settled in with me there yet.  They were crawling all over me.  I started to fall asleep on my stomach and Twig curled up right on my neck, constantly tickling me.  It worked out for a few hours, but when they woke me up in the middle of the night, I had no mercy and put them back in the bathroom.  If I remember correctly, they were both trying to sleep on my chest.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Lavender Cupcakes

Ever since I watched my very first (two) episodes of Cupcake Wars, I've been dying to make lavender cupcakes.  Casey--who ended up winning the episode, and starred in one season of Laguna Beach--embodied Hollywood legends in her cupcakes.  She made a Marylin Monroe cupcake with cherry and white chocolate flavorings, an Elizabeth Taylor cupcake with chili and chocolate flavorings, and a Grace Kelly cupcake with lavender flavorings.

We actually found her recipe (here) but decided it was way too busy and went with a different recipe.  Originally, Cady wanted to do a cupcake with lavender and lemon, so the second one we found was perfect because it had a lemon curd filling!

By the way, here is her Elizabeth Taylor recipe (here), her Marylin Monroe recipe (here), and her White Russian recipe (here).  Their first task was to make a classic drink into a cupcake.  Casey was able to serve her cupcakes at the Hollywood Walk of Fame 50th Anniversary party.  And she got $10,000, which she probably didn't need because her family is really rich.  (Her brother Doug went on to date Lauren Conrad on The Hills.)

Lavender Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F; line a 12 count muffin pan with paper liners.  Put the sugar and lavender flowers in a food processor. Process briefly to combine.  Tip the lavender sugar into a bowl with the butter and beat together until pale and fluffy.  Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, then sift in the flour and fold gently. Stir in the milk, then spoon the mixture into the muffin cups.

Bake for about 18 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Lemon Curd Filling:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled

Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.

Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 

Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoons lavender extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat butter, cream cheese, and extract together until combined. Beat in sugar until stiff enough. Frost cupcakes and top with a lavender flower.

Recipes from here and here.

We had too much frosting.  And we added some blue and pink food coloring to our batter to create the lavender color.  Also, we made the lavender extract for the frosting by brewing the dried lavender flowers for 5 minutes.

See Recipes for more.