PROJECT RECIPE: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Y’all know I love a good muffin. Grab-and-go breakfast is my M.O. This one is right in the thick of “all things pumpkin” season.

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I can’t even remember where I found this recipe for pumpkin muffins with a cream cheese filling, but I’m always on the lookout for muffin recipes. I probably got it from Pinterest, everyone’s favorite source of genius/procrastination. The recipe is from Gourmade at Home. What an adorable blog! You should check it out.

PROJECT RECIPE verdict: I’d probably keep them. I really liked these. I like them because they are not overly sweet. I’m never a fan of a super sweet muffin for breakfast that tastes like it could be a dessert. These are just perfect. The recipe only calls for a half cup of sugar (plus a little more for the filling). And the cream cheese middles give them a little something extra!

How I changed the recipe: I used butternut squash puree instead of pumpkin because I had some on hand. They are pretty much interchangeable in baking (except for maybe pumpkin pie!). Butternut squash is a darker orange, meaning more of that healthy beta carotene! It made the muffins REALLY look orange and pumpkiny, which was nice. I also subbed out the canola oil for apple sauce like I almost always do in baking. Save yourself a few calories and some fat. You cannot tell the difference. Actually you could have just used another 1/4 cup of pumpkin or butternut squash puree the same as applesauce for the oil.

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There’s no reason to buy canned pumpkin. It’s so easy to DIY, and you don’t have to worry about BPA-lined cans. The process is the same for either pumpkin or butternut (or blue hubbard, Long Island cheese, or almost any winter squash). Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds (save them to roast), and bake cut side down until tender. Then just peel, cut into chunks and toss in a blender or food processor with just a little water. Volia! Easy as pie… er, muffins. Or quick bread. If you buy your winter squash at the Farmers Market right after Halloween, you’ll get a rock bottom price, too.

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