- 1 cup pumpkin purée (about half a standard 15-ounce can)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup boiled cider (for best flavor), or dark corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice; or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
- 8-ounce package cream cheese; low-fat is fine
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- a few drops Fiori di Sicilia flavor, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers, and grease the papers. Or lightly grease a maple leaf pan.
- To make the batter: Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, boiled cider or corn syrup, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the flour and mix until well combined.
- To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor.
- Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling, then cover with another 2 tablespoons of batter.
- If you’re using maple leaf molds, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each of the 6 molds. Add a scant tablespoon of filling, and spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter on top. The recipe will make 16 maple leaves, so you’ll need to bake in batches.
- Bake the standard muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out crumb-free. Bake the leaf muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, testing them the same way.
- Remove the muffins from the oven. After 5 minutes, gently loosen the edges of the leaf muffins, and turn the pan over onto a cooling rack; the muffins should drop out. For regular muffins, simply transfer them to a rack to cool.
Yield: 12 regular muffins, or 16 leaf muffins.