Don’t Mock the Dead Muffins


In 2006, I spent a semester abroad en la belle France.  The French really love a good fete—there is a national celebration (and time off work) for almost anything short of winged monkeys on pogo sticks.  So, it seems un peu bizarre that Halloween never caught on.  It was more surprising that ma mere d’accueil, my host mother, had a vehement opinion about the holiday that does not receive even the proverbial tip of one’s hat.  She informed me that Halloween mocks the dead.  Trying to convince her otherwise was futile.  Ghost costumes, no matter how cute, truly insulted her sensibilities.  Therefore, I thought of her fondly as I made my way through “Terror in the Country,” in Warren, Oregon.  Indeed, I am one of “those” folks who remains ever-so-willing to shell out some dough to test bladder control in a non-clinical environment.   (So far, so good, in case you were wondering.)   In this particular haunted house, there was a room covered with dolls smeared in red paint.  I am inclined to say that this room definitely would have upset my host mom.  However, there was also a mime.  Yes, a very creepy wide-eyed mime who tailed guests through the room.  I imagine that his presence would be particularly offensive.  A ghoulish mime is not only a mockery of the dead, but a mockery of the dead with a subtle French twist.   But regardless of how you feel about Halloween, I have a muffin recipe to die for (har har, ::cough::).

–Little Ms. Muffin

Cream-Cheese Filled Pumpkin with Sugar Crumble

Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar

Muffin Body:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½  tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup melted butter

Topping:
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ tbsp flour
¾  tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1) Make the filling first by creaming the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar.  Roll the creamed lump into a 1-2 inch thick rope, and then wrap it in plastic wrap.  Then add a layer of aluminum foil and put the rope in the freezer until firm (allow at least two hours).

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3) In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, and melted butter.  Mix them until there are no lumps (a handmixer is helpful, but not necessary for this step).

4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

5) Put together the muffin topping by combining the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Whisk these ingredients together.  Chop the butter into small pieces and drop them into the sugar mixture.  Use a fork to cut the butter into the sugar until there are pea-sized lumps.

6) Remove the cream cheese and sugar log from the freezer and cut it into twelve slices.  Fill each muffin cup with a tablespoon of muffin batter.  Plop a cream cheese slice in each muffin cup.  Then, add another tablespoon of muffin batter to each muffin cup (to cover the cream cheese slice).

7) Sprinkle the crumbly topping over each muffin cup. Bake the muffins for 23 minutes.

8 ) Let the muffins cool before eating (the filling gets extremely hot).  Refrigerate when they are cool.

**Recipe adapted from annies-eats.com/2010/10/08/pumpkin-cream-cheese-muffins/

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2 Responses to “Don’t Mock the Dead Muffins”

  1. Emily Says:

    Our holiday offends her sensibilities, her salads offend our sensibilities….everybody’s even!

  2. Mommy Says:

    Real mommies are better than host mommies.

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