Chocolate Chip and Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

Leftover pumpkin? Let me help you out.

In college I was friends with a girl named Kim, whom I shall forever remember fondly for two things: 1) facing an angry Italian train conductor together when we accidentally slept through our Florence stop and found ourselves Rome-bound with nary a lira between us to pay for our trip, and 2) her chocolate chunk pumpkin bread. I never would have thought to stick chocolate with pumpkin, although I don’t know why. Chocolate makes everything better!

I have tried to recreate her delicious pumpkin bread these last few weeks and am posting my final result. I know it’s uncouth to bake with oil, but I’ve given up trying to bake cake-type foods with butter. What’s so wrong with oil? For the first time ever, due to my age-induced slowing metabolism, I snuck in a little applesauce in place of some of the oil. Then I most likely eliminated any calorie savings by adding a cream cheese filling because, well, life is short. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip & Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

15 oz. pumpkin (1 can, approx. 1 ¾ c)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Butter and flour the muffin tins (24). Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and milk. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix together the first seven ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.

In each muffin tin, put approximately 1/8 cup batter. Add 1 teaspoon cream cheese filling, and top with another 1/8 cup batter.

Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the muffins in their tins for about 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Notes:

  • These are also great without the chocolate chips!
  • If you want to buy the little 3 ounce package of cream cheese, that would probably be just fine.

© Amy Daniewicz and Beneath the Trees

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