Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cream Cheese Filled Gingerbread Muffins

I wanted to make something Autumny (yeah I know it's not a real word) for work on Halloween. That means baking them at 5 am. God bless me.
What began with a recipe from Bon Appetit through Epicurious, turned into a totally different version after I read the reviews and heeded some of their advice. First, I don't believe in over mixing muffins because then you have cupcakes. Second, I like things rich with deep flavor so more is better to me. Then I wanted them filled like black bottom cupcakes. The end result is wonderfully flavored with crystalized ginger, brandy, brown sugar and maple syrup. The filling is lovely with a light lemonyness (I know). And the topping adds a little crunch. It has everything I like except a winning lottery ticket, chocolate and a wonderful man who adores me.


Muffin Mixture

2 3/4 c flour
2 1/2 t baking soda
1 T ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
1/2 t salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 c maple syrup
3 T grated or finely chopped crystalized ginger
1 c buttermilk
1/3 c brandy or bourbon
1 T vanilla

Cream cheese ginger lemon filling

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c granulated white sugar
1 large egg
zest of 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice
1-2 T grated crystalized ginger

Crumb Topping

4 T flour
4 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 T butter in small pieces
4 T walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line muffin tin with 12-18 paper cups.

*First make the cream cheese filling.
Using and electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar.
Add egg and mix.
Add lemon zest, lemon juice and 1-2 T grated ginger and mix.
Set aside.

*Second make the crumb topping.
Mix the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together with a fork.
Add the butter and blend a little or mix it all in a food processor.
Add walnuts and mix.
Set aside.

*Then make the muffins.
Sift or whisk flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt in medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, mix butter and brown sugar in large bowl.
Add eggs and mix.
Add maple syrup, buttermilk and brandy/bourbon and mix.
Add half of dry ingredients mixing until almost blended.
Add remaining dry ingredients and mix.

Divide 1/2 - 2/3 of batter equally among muffin cups.
Place spoonfuls of cream cheese filling in each cup.
Top with remaining batter.
Sprinkle crumb topping over each cup of batter.
Bake on middle rack until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
Transfer pan to rack and cool 10 minutes.
Then remove muffins from pan.
Makes 12-18 gingerbread muffins.

Because I baked these with a chilled batter the filling was more of a layer, which tasted fine. But I think is you bake them as soon as you mix the batter, you should have more of a 'blob' of filling.
This is for the cool people at work, hence the ones who dressed up. I was a garden gnome, you'll find me...

Everyone else sort of sucked.


Steph said...

You have the perfect cream cheese swirl in middle. I love all the combinations of flavours/spices that you added. I like the idea of a lemon flavoured cream cheese filling.

Leslie said...

5 am??? You are a SAINT!
Yummy muffins!
And yes "lemonyness" is a word(in my book)

Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Yum - I love gingerbread, but I don't know if I would make it at 5:00 a.m! Cute costume too :)

Karine said...

Your muffin looks stunning! Great job :)