I haven't been doing a lot of baking or cooking lately. Just the bare minimum to keep us from falling over in hunger. And with our cupboard doors & drawer fronts covering every available surface, there isn't much room to get creative anyway.
But these muffins made me change my mind. I first saw them on The Recipe Critic, and I couldn't help but be drawn to words like "pockets of jam" and "cheesecake". Plus I had all of the ingredients in the house. At the same time. That's a miracle in itself.
I'm trying out this recipe as part of the spring Pinterest Challenge, created by Katie Bower (Bower Power) and Sherry Petersik (Young House Love), with help this time from Emily West (Sparkle Meets Pop) and Renee Starzl (RedBirdBlue).
The Pinterest Challenge is a get-off-your-butt-and-make-that-thing-you-pinned motivational party that's been going on for a couple of years now. For past challenges I've made a fold-up patio bar, photo bottles, yarn-wrapped eggs, a poop factory dog costume, and most recently I tried my hand at cerusing a nightstand.
This recipe truly is easy, though you will need several bowls to mix up the different parts. And it takes twice as long if you're constantly taking pictures - most of which you don't end up using. You do that too, right?
What you'll need:
For the muffin batter:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (I used sesame)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups strawberries cut into small pieces
For the cream cheese filling:
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cinnamon streusel:
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners or just grease the pan really well.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the milk, oil, vanilla extract, egg, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture slowly. Do not stir too much.
In a third bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Set aside.
Fourth bowl. Yes, fourth. To make the streusal topping, mix together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Using a fork, blend in the butter until it looks like coarse sand. Mine turned out a little creamier than I think it was supposed to be, possibly because I used margarine instead of butter so it softened quickly. No matter though, it will still taste good.
Now you're going to "build" the muffins. Scoop a tablespoon of the muffin batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Sprinkle a few pieces of strawberries, then add about 1/2 tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon streusel topping on the cheesecake filling, followed by another layer of the muffin batter. Add a few pieces of strawberries on the top and finish with another sprinkle of the cinnamon mixture. You can be pretty heavy-handed with the berries if you want - I was and had plenty to make 18 muffins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan or on a rack.
Look at all that berry goodness. These muffins are very moist in the middle and they have the perfect amount of sweetness. I made a few of them with a mix of strawberries and blackberries too. I think they're even better.
There are so many flavours going on - berries, cheese, vanilla cake, cinnamon. It's like the old Bits & Bites commercial - every
Now, head on over to each of the hosts' pages (go to the links at the top) and see what everyone else challenged themselves with this week. Or link up your own Pinterest Challenge project - we all need a challenge once in a while.
I'm also linking up here this week!