The first day of fall. There are many who mourn this day, as it means bidding adieu to the sunny days of lying on the beach and grilling in the backyard. Warm turns to cold, and green turns to orange. But in the immortal words of the Beatles, “I don’t know why you say ‘Goodbye,’ I say ‘Hello.’”
The end of one thing always means the glorious beginning of something else. And so I choose to say, “Hello, fall.” Hello crisp, blustery days; warm, spicy scents; vibrant, fiery colors. Hello to the chilly fall breezes that awaken the senses and delicious autumn treats that warm the soul. Outside the air may be frosty and brisk, but inside the atmosphere is warm and comforting.
Just imagine being wrapped up in a toasty fleece blanket while sipping a steaming cup of coffee and listening to the autumn winds howl right outside the window. That is perfection. Well, almost perfection. The only thing that would make this scene even better would be a pumpkin cream cheese muffin to go along with that cup of coffee.
But maybe perfection isn’t so unattainable after all. Because here is that muffin.
This treat offers the perfect slow, acclimatization to autumn. It has a comforting, soft texture and very subtle spice flavor. The warm spices are then accented by a tiny pocket of bright, vanilla cream cheese filling. With its subtly, this little muffin will surely ease even the most avid heat- and summer-lovers into the delicious joys of autumn. And so, to one and all, I wish you a very happy fall!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yield: 15 muffins
1 ½ cups GF Flour Mix*
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, spices, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, milk, and pumpkin until smooth. Slowly add in dry ingredients, mixing just until fully incorporated.
To make the filling, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until the filling is completely smooth.
Fill each prepared liner ¾-full with pumpkin batter. Place a dollop of cream cheese filling on top (or, using a piping bag, pipe some filling into center of batter), and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let muffins cool about 2 minutes in pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
*GF Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch