You may have noticed that lately I'm not talking about politics, much. I'm still interested, I just can't figure out what I could say, exactly, that could help anyone. Not right now. Muffins, on the other hand, are damn useful.
Saturday morning before the gym I popped in to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, seeing as how I was too lazy to make some myself before it was time to leave the house. While there, I saw that they had pumpkin cream cheese muffins in their case. Oh, man, did they look good, but I couldn't justify 5 bucks and almost 500 calories for something pretty to eat. Hell, I was already paying 2 bucks for coffee - regular coffee.
When I got home, I went online, and found a recipe at recipezaar.com. It looked pretty good, so I gave it a shot. I changed it up a little, here's exactly how I did it:
SERVES 24 , 24 muffins (I actually made 30 small ones)
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 3 teaspoons allspice
* 1 pinch ginger
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 4 eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
* 8 ounces cream cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log.
3. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour (this means that if you take an hour to make up the batter, take the cream cheese out of the freezer, already!).
4. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine (except cream cheese).
6. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full.
7. Unwrap the cream cheese and cut into disks with a sharp knife so that each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier. Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down.
8. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!).
9. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.
Recipezaar claims that these are 241 calories each. That's way better than what I would have ingested at Starbucks. Also, I had everything but the cream cheese already in the house, so I wound up spending something like $2.50 out of pocket to make 30 muffins. They're really good, too.