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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Muffin Tops-Two Ways

I bought myself muffin top pans probably about a year ago and had never used them. I love buying new stuff for my kitchen I just don't always use the stuff right away. For my book discussion last week at the library I knew I wanted to make muffin tops. Since I like variety I made blueberry and pumpkin. They were a huge hit. More so than the book we discussed.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
taken from Pillsbury.com

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1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 to 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries

Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. If using muffin top pans spray them with cooking spray. If using cookie sheets line two with cooking parchment paper. In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the flour, sugar and butter with fork until crumbly; set aside to use topping. In another small bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat dough and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. On low speed, beat in egg, milk, lemon peel and lemon juice until well blended. Stir in flour mixture just until combined (do not overmix; mixture will be a thick batter). Carefully fold in blueberries. (If using thawed berries, rinse and pat dry with paper towel before adding).

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the batter into each muffin top. I had two pans that equaled twelve muffin tops. If you are using cookie sheets drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 1 to 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets, using a rubber spatula to scrape batter from tablespoon. Bake 3 minutes; remove from oven. Sprinkle each muffin top with about 1 teaspoon crumb topping; immediately return to oven.

Bake 16 to 20 minutes longer or just until edges begin to brown. Cool on cookie sheets or muffing top pans 2-3 minutes before removing to cooling racks. Serve warm or cool.

Pumpkin Muffin Tops
adapted from the 2011 Taste of Home Quick Cooking cookbook

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2 cups self rising flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
2 cups canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
1 cup vegetable oil

As a substitute for each cup of self rising flour, place 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all purpose flour to measure 1 cup.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
2 dashes of cinnamon

For the muffins in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the egg, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Spray the muffin top pans with cooking spray. Using a 1/4 measuring cup fill each muffin well with batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yields about 1 1/2 dozen.

For the icing beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar in increments until fully incorporated. Add the cinnamon. Spread the icing on the muffins. Store in the fridge.

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