Muffins are perfect, aren’t they? All round and poofy, offering the promise of a few neat bites of almost any flavor you can imagine. Sam’s savory Popper Muffins with the bite of jalapeno from our last post looked so good! I can’t wait to make them at my house. Today I am bringing you a nice sweet muffin treat with another kind of a bite — the bite of crystallized ginger.
Can I tell you how much I love crystallized ginger? I’m not sure I can. And it’s not just crystallized ginger, it’s also brewed ginger beer (soda), pickled ginger at sushi, ginger in Asian food, ginger candy, lemon-ginger herbal tea… And since everyone IRL knows this, I tend to get ginger things for gifts. Especially ginger things from World Market from my Sam/daughter/blogpartner! For these muffins I used the finest chip size from that back-most package of Ginger People Ginger Chips, much smaller in size than the little canister with the same label. Disclaimer: Some crystallized ginger slices may have been consumed during the photography of this ginger.
You know, another reason I appreciate muffins, besides their cuteness and neatness, is because they let me quickly
hide the extras for myself store away more treats than our household of two needs to have sitting about at any given time. ;) And with these pumpkin muffins filled with a tangy creamy ginger-laden filling, I will most definitely need to be hiding some deep in the freezer … for both our sakes!
This idea for filling pumpkin muffins was inspired by a filled pumpkin bread from Better Homes and Gardens. A filling of cream cheese, sour cream, and crystallized ginger… *swoon* I could not get it out of my mind. Of course, knowing that my own pumpkin bread recipe is THE BEST EVER, I began plotting a pumpkin bread baking session with some version of that filling.
Oh, am I ever glad I went with this idea. Oh, oh, oh….
A dollop of dairy creaminess surrounding crystallized ginger chips, all inside spicy sweet pumpkin goodness, neatly bounded by a Halloween muffin liner seemed to be the perfect way to Embrace Fall.
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 6 oz. (3/4 c.) sour cream
- 3 Tbsp. crystallized ginger chips, or finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups canned pumpkin (1 - 15 oz. can)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Soften cream cheese until room temperature. Mash in sugar until combined. Stir in sour cream, then stir in egg white. When ready to use, stir in crystallized ginger. Set aside.
- Measure first 5 ingredients ingredients (through the water) into a large mixing bowl. Stir until smooth. Combine the soda, salt, and three spices into some of the flour and add with the rest of the flour to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until smooth.
- To assemble: Fill standard muffin pans (lined with paper liners) half to 2/3 full with batter. Use the back of a spoon to press batter toward the edges to create a well in the center of each. Spoon in 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling (a scant Tablespoon).
- Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes until the muffins toothpick test done and look well done.
- Let cool in pan on a rack for 15-20 minutes, then use a fork to remove from pans to finish cooling.
- Best after standing for at least 12 hours for flavors to develop.
- Wrap individually in plastic wrap to freeze.
- Batter and filling can be made into loaves -- put filling down the center of the loaf and see "A Different Pumpkin Bread" http://wp.me/p2wPAN-1I8 for baking instructions.
Of course, if you want the filling to be more enclosed, you can get creative with your sculpting or just increase the water in the pumpkin bread batter by a couple Tablespoons — the thinner the batter, the more likely the filling is to sink. Worth a try! (And let me know! haha!)
Still working on that Embrace Fall thing. It’s getting easier now that the leaves are doing their incredible ever-changing color show to make things pretty. Maybe the heat from the crystallized ginger will offset the grey drizzle that has also entered the picture.
I hope that’s not too much pressure, muffins.