Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins

This is the perfect way to be able to eat dessert for breakfast! One of my favorite sweet treats is carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Actually, just about anything with cream cheese icing would fall into my "favorites" category!

This is that classic dessert reinvented into a moist muffin with a creamy surprise in the center. And everyone knows muffins are for breakfast, right?

These are so simple to put hauling out any heavy equipment.....just a few bowls required.

After you make your filling and your batter, simply scoop a small amount of batter into the muffin cup, drop a tablespoon of filling into the center, a cover with another scoop of batter.

These were a hit with everyone. Even hubs, who's not a cream cheese lover, enjoyed them.

Here's the recipe:

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins
King Arthur Flour

Makes 12 muffins

one 8 ounce package cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a few drops or Fiori Di Sicilia flavor, optional but very tasty (I happened to have this in the pantry but if you don't, feel free to leave it out. It's a combination of citrus flavors and vanilla, so you could also substitute accordingly)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups and grease the cups.

To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor. Set aside.

To make the muffin batter: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the carrots, stirring to combine.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling, trying to keep in in the center of the muffin.

Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have about 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired.

Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.

Remove the muffins from the oven and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it will firm up.

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