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Saturday, December 8, 2012

8 Nights of Hanukkah Baking, #1: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


Okay, I know I said it’d be the last when I posted the pumpkin soup, but now THIS will be the last pumpkin recipe you’ll see from me this season.

As you may remember from last year, I did an “Eight Days of Hanukkah” baking series. I was inspired by my fellow bloggers who were doing Christmas countdowns and 12 Days of Christmas posts, but I didn’t see any during Hanukkah! Hanukkah came pretty early this year and tonight at sundown marks the first night of the festival of lights. As much as I hate the cold, it’s still hard to get used to the fact that it’s December, Hanukkah, and winter, and yet... I still sometimes don’t even have to wear a jacket outside. Not that I’m complaining! 

I love driving down the road and seeing all the homes decorated in bright lights and decorations, hearing all the holiday music on the radio, and spending lots of time with family and friends. Of course, the holidays are also a perfect time to bake up a storm — trays of treats for a party, dessert for family dinner, edible gifts, or even just cookies to fill up that empty jar on your kitchen counter — your oven isn’t getting much of a break during this time of year. 

I’ll be baking my way through the next eight nights of Hanukkah and you get to come along for the ride! First up: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. I found this recipe for Pumpkin and Cheese Spice Bread from An Edible Mosaic. The recipe calls for making three mini loafs, and well, I don’t have mini loaf pans. I got kind of nervous about the measurements for a regular sized pan, so I read all of the comments on the post to see what other people said about using different pans/sizes/etc. I came across a post from someone who made the recipe into muffins. Woo! I have a muffin pan! 

The pumpkin batter was JUST enough to fill the whole pan for some decent sized muffins, and there was exactly the right amount of cream cheese mixture to top off each one. It was the perfect idea. I almost went out and bought mini loaf pans because I really wanted to make the recipe and didn’t want to screw anything up. Good thing I scrolled through all those comments! 

Everyone’s favorite part of the muffin was the cream cheese topping. It wasn’t too creamy like cheesecake, but it also wasn’t too dense like cream cheese can sometimes be. They came out pretty, too! I’m getting better at making my desserts look as good as they taste. :)


Happy Hanukkah!
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