Friday, October 24, 2008


Right now, I'm in the use-up-what's-in-the-fridge mode of baking. That means recipes with cream cheese, sour cream and heavy cream.
Just so you know.

This recipe, found on Pamela Lanier's website, is very good. Pamela has recipes from bed and breakfast places around the country. And you know B&B's always serve good food. I added some vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate chips to the batter and subbed 1/2 cup pumpkin puree + 1 Tbsp. oil for the 1/3 cup oil called for. If I make these again, I'll also add some coffee syrup or coffee brandy to bring out the chocolate flavor a little more. An extra Tbsp. of cocoa would also be nice. Oh, and since I'm trying to use up my bread flour, I subbed 1/2 cup bread flour + 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour for the all-purpose flour. I'm enjoying these a lot, especially the cream cheese centers which are fluffy, soft and delicious. They're a nice surprise when you bite into the muffin. A yummy treat for breakfast, snack or dessert.

Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins, Adapted
Rating: 7 out of 10

Cheesecake Filling:
3 oz. Neufchatel cheese
2 Tbsp. sugar (I subbed some Stevia for half the sugar)
1/4 tsp. lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat, or half and half)
1/2 cup sugar (Again, I subbed Stevia for half the sugar.)
3 Tbsp. cocoa (If you want these more chocolatey, make it 1/4 cup.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided (I used Nestle Chocolatier 53% cacao)
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk (I used fat-free half and half, because that's what I had.)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
optional: 1 tsp. strong coffee, coffee syrup, or coffee liqueur

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 10 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. Have all ingredients at room temperature. In a small bowl, blend cheese, sugar and lemon juice til fluffy; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup chips, mixing well to distribute ingredients evenly. In another small bowl, or in your blender, combine egg, milk, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and coffee flavor if using. Add wet ingredients all at once to dry, mixing lightly only till barely combined. Battery can be lumpy. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup, then drop 1 tsp. of cream cheese batter in centers, pressing down slightly.

Top with remaining chocolate batter, dividing equally among muffin cups. Scatter remaining chocolate chips over tops of muffins, pressing down slightly. Bake until toothpick inserted away from cheese filling comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Yield: 10 yummy muffins

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