All right, let’s get something straight right away: If you misread the above title as “cream cheese,” or wince at the idea of a muffin that isn’t so sweet as to make your fillings hurt, run on down to Starbucks where all the cool people hang out and fork out $7 for a cream cheese pumpkin scone. Tell my sister, “hi.” Otherwise, let’s bake some muffins!
The recipe that is cited under “Sources” is a very good generic and friendly pumpkin muffin recipe first published by Gourmet in November 2008. When I say “friendly,” I mean that it tolerates cooks like myself, who cook willy-nilly and add and subtract ingredients as necessary. I’ve cited it too, as it’s the closest to the feta cheese pumpkin muffins I used to make. I once had a barter arrangement with a cheese maker who only made feta cheese so an awful lot of my recipes will include it.
1/3 cup craisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ ground ginger
¼ tsp allspice (if you have it)
1/8 tsp ground cloves (if you have it)
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
¼ cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 – 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ – ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 400* .
2. Butter muffin pan or line muffin cups with paper liners.
3. Dump your craisins into the melted butter to soften.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and and salt.
5. In separate bowl, whisk together butter (with craisins), brown sugar pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until just combined; stir in walnuts (optional).
6. Divide batter among muffin cups.
7. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 20 minutes or so.
8. Cool on rack.
• You can vary the amount of pumpkin by ¼ – ½ cup or so.
• If you’re out of buttermilk, sour sweet milk with a little vinegar.
• Other cooks using the Epicurious recipe have used pumpkin seeds as an additional ingredient.