I'm almost ashamed to admit how often I find myself at Starbucks. It's like two doors down from my office building, so when I need a caffeine boost it's there to greet me like an old friend. I've since tried to give up Starbucks in favor of more highfalutin espresso joints like Joe's in Grand Central, but Starbucks is always there...watching and waiting. It knows I will be back and when I do go in, I inevitably find myself on line staring at the pastry case wishing that one day something gluten-free will magically appear in there.
It never does.
It doesn't stop me from looking though. I stare at the cake pops, the mallorca bread and those friggin' pumpkin cream cheese muffins that mock me every fall. Maybe they call to some people and sing sweet songs, but they just infuriate me. I know I can't have them, and I never had one, ever. After a while I got tired of the longing, the staring, and the unrequited love.
I decided to make these damn muffins myself and I was going to make them gluten AND dairy-free. Believe it.
I've had this notion in my head for about 2 years now and you know what? I FINALLY made these muffins and they are everything I thought they would be...and more.
They are so good I can't even tell you. Unless you are a gluten-eating freakazoid with a super sensitive palate, you would not be able to tell these were gluten-free. Making them dairy-free was just a bonus since I normally try to avoid dairy as much as possible due to my lactose-intolerance.
These muffins are amazing. You need to make them like now. Seriously, stop reading, go to the store and buy the ingredients and get thee in the kitchen stat!
You can thank me later.
Cream Cheese Filling
- Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and lay out on a piece of parchment paper. Try to shape it into a log if you can.
- Put it in the freezer while you prepare the muffin batter. Your goal is to have it get as hard as possible without being impossible to work with. Aim for about a half hour or a little longer.
- Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife or use a spoon to make it about 1-2 teaspoons per serving. *Note you can do this with regular cream cheese far easier.
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
⅛ cup applesauce
2 egg (for vegetarian) or egg substitute (for vegan)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese).
- Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full.
- Put cream cheese in the middle, pressing down.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!).
- Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.
- Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.
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