Tuesday, November 8, 2011

EASY Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins!

I have an obsession....it's Pinterest and all things pumpkin :) So, I've decided to combine my loves and make some muffins!

I have seen a few different recipes for pumpkin muffins, homemade pumpkin cream cheese muffins and some streussel muffins, so I've combined all three to make my own!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese filled Muffins (makes 24 muffins)

1 box yellow cake mix (I used 'golden butter')
1 -15 oz. can 100% pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Cream Cheese filling:
1 'brick' of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup powdered sugar

Streussel Topping: (sorry no picture)

½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees--Combine cake mix, pumpkin and pie spice in a bowl until well blended, using a hand or stand mixer.
2. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar using a hand or stand mixer, set aside.
3. Combine all ingredient for topping and put into the refrigerator to get cold.
4. Line muffin tin with liners or spray with baking spray.
5. Put about 2-3 tbsp of muffin mix in each cup, not very much is needed!
6. Put a dollop of cream cheese filling on top of the pumpkin muffin mix (press into the mix, so it's not too high above the liner)
7. Sprinkle streussel topping over each muffin
8. Make at 350 degrees for about 20-25 mins or until streussel is light brown.
9. ENJOY!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Countdown!

As you've probably gathered from my previous post, I adore Thanksgiving and Christmas.....basically the season of fall until New Year's day is my absolute favorite time of the year! I love seeing family, the decorating, the Halloween fun and craziness, FOOTBALL season, then the two best holidays ever---Thanksgiving and Christmas! But, to boot, this year, we are adding our little girl to our family in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is going to add ANOTHER fabulous holiday, for years to come!! But, I'm getting ahead of myself... since this year we will be celebrating the holidays from the comfort of our own home (I'll be about a week and a half from my due date come Thanksgiving day and the Doc says staying home is best....I'm secretly very happy!! I've ALWAYS wanted to have Thanksgiving at my house!) We will desperately miss our extended family and friends, but we are happy to open our home to some college kids and families who are, also, unable to go home for the holidays! PLUS, my parents and Cody's parents are coming in town to celebrate with us, too!!! AHHHH I'M SO EXCITED I COULD SCREAM!!!....oh wait, i just did :)

Wow, I'm wordy today! Well, enough blabbing---I'm going to start putting up decor ideas, recipes for Thanksgiving, thoughtful insights, and possibly even do a giveaway for the holidays! WHO KNOWS!?! But, I'm promising to not be vacant from here any longer :)

Let's kick off November with a DELICIOUS holiday recipe that I just made and is insanely simple and SOO YUMMY!

picture from Ourbestbites.com --I forgot to take a picture of mine!

Cinnamon Toffee Dip (adapted from ourbestbites.com)

1 8-oz. package cream cheese (you can always use light/fat-free cream cheese)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Toffee bits (1/4 to 1/2 a bag depending on your preference)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. (about a pinch) nutmeg
Optional: chopped roasted pecans/walnuts
*I was making this for our office Halloween party, so I doubled the recipe and it still worked great!

1. Let cream cheese soften a bit, but not too much (about 10 mins on the counter)
2. Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT toffee bits and nuts (if using), with electric mixer and refrigerate
3. Before serving, add toffee bits to dip
4. To finish add a few toffee bits and roasted nuts to the top of the dip.

Serve with granny smith apple slices and homemade cinnamon chips (recipe below)

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Chips

8'' soft tortilla wraps
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
*cinnamon/sugar ratio can be altered depending on your taste preference

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1. Either cut out pieces of tortilla with holiday cookie cutters or cut into triangles with pizza cutter (I did both and they came out really cute!)
2. Place on a cookie sheet (I used a cooking stone at first and they didn't get crispy...use a regular cookie sheet)
3. Using a pastry brush or really even your finger, brush each cut tortilla piece with melted butter
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture

Bake 10-12 minutes (check them at 9 minutes to see if they are browning) If you only have a baking stone, keep them in about 15 minutes to get them crispy.

They are DELICIOUS and go great with the dip or by themselves! Hope you all enjoy!

Happy Fall,

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our growing family to your lovely family! We hope you each had a fun and safe holiday filled with lots of yummy goodies! Now, on to the best holidays ever...Thanksgiving and Christmas!!! WOOHOO!!