Cream Cheese and Caramelized Pumpkin Seed Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 1/4 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare a 12-muffin tin with butter and flour or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices and set aside.
- Beat oil and eggs until well combined. Add pumpkin puree, salt, and vanilla extract.
- In one step add dry ingredients and mix briefly until just combined. Fill muffin tins evenly 3/4 full.
- Combine soft cream cheese with sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Using wet fingers make a deep cavity in the center of each muffin large enough to hold a generous 2 tablespoon of cream cheese filling.
- Spoon two heaping tablespoons of cream cheese filling in each.
- Place in oven and bake until the center bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger, about 18-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile make caramelized pumpkin seeds by boiling together sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
- Once boiling add pumpkin seeds and keep stirring until sugar syrup starts to become thick as honey.
- Turn off heat and keep stirring for several minutes until seeds obtain a dry sugary coating.
- Turn heat to medium and stir until part of the sugary coating starts to melt.
- Drop seeds onto parchment-lined or aluminum foil-lined surface.
- Sprinkle seeds onto muffins upon removal from oven.