Monday, November 28, 2011

More Pumpkin!

Even though I did not bake these two recipes I thought I would still share the deliciousness. My birthday was on Friday so mom asked what baked goods I wanted. I asked that she make two recipes - Pumpkin Crunch and Pumpkin Muffins. Yes that may sound spoiled but it was Thanksgiving and my birthday!

The Pumpkin Crunch she found to be some what easy. My mom struggled a little with making sure the butter covered the cake mix. I discovered this recipe on the B Dubs Cafe blog. Needless to say this made for a perfect birthday cake for candles. A lot better than a turkey has some friends have suggested. Now to see if my wish comes true :)

Pumpkin crunch
1 box yellow cake mix                
1 cup melted butter or margarine1 tsp cinnamon
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin                         
½ tsp salt
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk                          
3 large eggs (4 medium)                                   
1 ½ cup sugar 
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Cool whip/whipped topping or ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom of a 9x13 pan or 2 pie dishes.  In a large bowl combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt (instead of using cinnamon and salt, you can substitute with 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice if needed).  Pour into pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture.  Top with pecans (I have never done this since we are not nut lovers, but I think it had nuts in it the first time I tried it, so it is good either way).  Drizzle melted butter over pecans.  Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown.  (My oven cooks faster and it only took about 35-40 minutes.  Just check it after 30 minutes.  It should be brown on top.  Cool.  Serve chilled with cool whip or ice cream.

Note: After I pour the butter over top, I usually spoon the butter over parts of the dry cake mix that didn't get covered with butter to make it more evenly distributed.

Next up are the Pumpkin Muffins which I found on Tracey's Culinary Adventures. Now if you recall I made White Chocolate Cranberry cupcakes for my mom's birthday. Those cupcakes were intense so I guess this was pay back. Mom did not enjoy all the steps involved with this recipe. She only has one muffin pan and got frustrated with layering the muffin mix and cream cheese so she placed the rest of the mixture in a 8" round cake pan. I highly suggest that you try the "coffee cake" option. It was more moist than the muffins. She said the coffee cake baked for 55 minutes. Also, be prepared to be annoyed with the cream cheese mixture. Mom claims she followed the recipe but the cream cheese did not firm up enough to work with. Luckily the end result was yummy!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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

1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch cubes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil

To make the filling: In a medium bowl mix the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar together until smooth. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log that is about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap and transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours (or until firm enough to cut).

To make the topping: In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the butter and use a pastry blender to cut it in until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Refrigerate while you make the muffin batter.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until blended. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.

Remove the cream cheese filling from the freezer and slice the log into 24 equal pieces. Place just enough batter in each muffin well to cover the bottom - about 1-2 tablespoons. Put one slice of the cream cheese mixture in each well on top of the batter. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin wells, covering the cream cheese filling completely. Remove the topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over the muffins.

Bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes, or until they spring back when gently pressed in the center. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 muffins

My mom said she would make the Pumpkin Crunch again but is not so sure about the muffins. Oh well! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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