Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I have been wanting to make a version of this recipe for some time now.  Pumpkin season has come and gone and this year I am happy to report I have not missed my chance!  I found a great recipe and decided to lighten it up a bit.

I don't think my lightened up version is missing any taste, but it's probably a bit chewier than the regular version.  Regardless, these muffins were moist and sweet and a great alternative if you're trying to stay healthy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
adapted from A Cup of Sugar...A Pinch of Salt
5 PointsPlus per serving
Makes 12 servings


For the Filling
1/3 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup powdered sugar

For the Topping
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend*
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fat free egg substitute**
1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend*
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce***
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

*Brown Sugar can be substituted (1/4 cup brown sugar for 2 Tbsp of Splenda and 1/2 cup brown sugar for 1/4 cup Splenda)
**2 eggs can be substituted
***1/2 cup vegetable oil can be substituted


To make the filling: In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, egg yolk, and powdered sugar.  Cover and freeze until chilled, about 30-45 minutes.

To make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar blend, cinnamon, and salt.  Work in the butter with your hands.  Press the mixture into small clumps.  Refrigerate the topping until chilled, about 15 minutes.

To make the muffins:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the brown sugar blend, apple sauce, and pumpkin puree.  Beat in the dry ingredients until completely incorporated.

Spoon half the batter into the muffin cups.  Drop heaping teaspoons of the cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and spoon the remaining batter on top.  Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before placing them on a rack to cool completely.  (1 muffin = 1 serving, 5 PointsPlus per serving)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Try saying Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies three times fast.  Now you deserve to eat a cookie!  This recipe happens to be one of my all-time favorites.  The bananas turn this into a soft and moist cookie and the touch of cinnamon really adds a unique twist on the typical oatmeal cookie.  Soft, sweet, and just what you need at the end of a long day.  Delicious.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from the essential chocolate chip cookbook


1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 bananas, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute.  The mixture may look slightly curdled.  On low speed, add in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in the oatmeal.  Then mix in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.  Use a large spoon to mix in the banana pieces, mixing just until they are evenly distributed and some of the pieces are mashed but most are still visible.

Using a tablespoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly browned and the tops look dry, about 18 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.