Filled Pumpkin Spice Muffins

pumpkin spice muffinsNothing says fall like pumpkin spice, and what better way to feature it than in a warm muffin. The muffin recipe I found is extra special – it has a filling and a topping. The recipe is also part of the #Bakealong Challenge by King Arthur Flour. With it’s creamy cream cheese filling and it’s crunchy streusel topping, I was sold. Besides, I love a challenge.

To adapt the recipe to high altitude I had to modify a few things. I added some flour and reduced the baking powder. I also cut the topping in half – you don’t want to weigh down a muffin at altitude. Next I reduced the temperature and baked them a few minutes longer. For the vegan changes I used yogurt instead of eggs, chose vegan versions of butter and cream cheese, and made the milk a non-dairy version. I wanted to make the muffins on the healthier side (healthy-ish?) so I used a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat. Now, on to the muffins …

Filled Pumpkin Spice Muffins adapted from King Arthur Flour
STREUSEL TOPPING
1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/8 cup organic brown sugar, packed
1/8 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats (not instant)
dash salt
2 TBS vegan margarine, at room temperature
FILLING
1 (8-oz) tub vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup organic sugar
MUFFINS
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt
1/2 cup organic brown sugar, packed
3 TBS vegetable oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice; or 1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ground cloves + 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup + 1TBS Whole Wheat Flour
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers. To make the streusel: Whisk together flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Work in margarine, mixing until coarse crumbs form. To make the filling: Place cream cheese in a bowl and stir in sugar. To make the batter: Whisk together pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, oil, agave, and milk. Then whisk in salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl. Add flour and mix until well combined.
Drop a scant 2 TBS of batter into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping TBS of filling (I had some leftover), then cover with another 2 TBS of batter. Sprinkle each muffin with streusel topping. Bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted towards the edge comes out crumb-free. Remove muffins from oven. When they’re cool enough to handle, transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy within 2 to 3 hours; refrigerate up to 3 days for longer storage. Freeze, well-wrapped, up to 3 weeks.

Until next time, happy baking!

Advertisements

Chocolate-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate filled chocolate cupcakesToday is all about chocolate with my chocolate-filled chocolate cupcakes. I saw a recipe for chocolate lava cupcakes and figured that who could go wrong with chocolate and more chocolate. Let’s just say my chocoholic hubby was very excited.

The changes I made to the recipe I adapted were extensive because I felt the recipe would make too much batter. I down-sized the measurements and then reduced the baking powder more to account for high altitude. Then I added more liquids for the dryness at altitude. The last big alteration was to omit the frosting because they seemed a bit sugar-laden for my tastes. I saved some filling and used the extra ganache for a nice topping. Yep, hubby was glad to be a taster.

Chocolate-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes adapted from Vegan in the Freezer
For the Cupcake Filling
6 oz semi­sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
2 TBS powdered sugar
For the Cupcake Batter
1 cup + 1.25 tsp non-dairy milk
1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and then cooled
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1.25 cups + 1 TBS all ­purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1.25 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Melt chocolate for filling. Whisk in milk and powdered sugar. Set aside. In a bowl, start batter by adding milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes to curdle, then add sugar, oil and vanilla. Whisk until well mixed. In another bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until mixed.
Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with batter. Place a dollop of filling in center of each cupcake, with extra filling reserved for garnish. Do not let filling touch sides of liners. Use remaining batter to fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Let cool completely. Drizzle remaining filling over tops of cupcakes to garnish.

Until next time, happy baking!

A Love of Baking and Science

baking loveThe other day I was talking to a friend about my favorite past-time – baking. She had heard that baking was very relaxing, almost meditative. She apparently hasn’t watched me bake. I have heard that activities like kneading bread can be very zen-like, but baking vegan at high altitude is very rational and involves lots of math. My friend said she wouldn’t enjoy it, but I reassured her that I do all the hard work and all a reader has to do is follow recipes. She liked that.

This conversation reinforced why I have my blog. I am fascinated with the science of baking and, trust me, baking with multiple substitutions is scientific. But, others are not as intrigued as I am and just want to bake something that looks and tastes good. I get that, but half of the fun for me is the challenge. I. Will. Make. This. Recipe. Work.

There is also the sense of accomplishment when I peek through the oven window and see a baked creation that I fussed over come to life. Sometimes that fussing takes multiple tries, so it is even more rewarding when I finally succeed. And it’s always good to know I haven’t wasted a pile of expensive baking ingredients. (Have you seen the cost of coconut sugar?)

And then there is the look on my husband’s face when he asks for more, especially when it is a recipe that I am not sure will tantalize his taste buds. Like last week’s zucchini bread, for instance. My husband’s idea of dessert is half a tray of brownies. Zucchini bread seemed far too healthy, even though I added chocolate chips for a chocolate fix. Much to my surprise, he was disappointed when I ate the last piece and there was none left for him. So, happily, I go back into the kitchen to make more … all in the name of science and love.