Happy Saturday, my sweet friends! I hope you're having a sparkly weekend. :o)
I have an extra special card and a pumpkin delight to share with you today. Madison of Funky Cards is not only extremely talented, but she also has a heart of gold. She spreads her (and our) love via a project entitled I Feel the Love. Every month she highlights a child or organization in need of some extra sunshine and we all have the incredible opportunity to be a blessing by making them cards. Isn't that so beautiful? This month cute Halloween cards will be sent to medically fragile children at Pediatric Specialty Care. (No scary cards!) Penguins make for a happy card... especially when engulfed in lollipops.
Our sprightly penguin is essentially burrowing her way through an abundance of colorful lollipops. With one in each hand, we speak the same language. ;) I used Core Couture cardstock for the penguin to make her sparkle. Notice the sparkly heart on the pumpkin? He wears his heart on his sleeve... or skin. He's bursting with love, just waiting to lure a few smiles from the child who will soon be holding him. That's why his smile is so sparkly, after all. There are few things as beautiful as a child's heart and our sweet characters here are excited for their destination.
I drew each one a Peachy Keen Face for some character and coated the sentiment in Glossy Accents to make it a shiny, durable epoxy brad. I wanted to make my beloved twine lollipops for the occasion, but decided it might not be best for this project. I'd feel horrible if they were loosened and unwound by happy kiddo hands... it would be such a sad sight. Thankfully I had cute sparkling lollipops to cut out from one of the papers in the DCWV Sweet Stack. :o) A nice alternative. I embossed the scarf, inked over it to make it pink/green, and coated it in Stardust for the festivities. I also had added a couple of glitter hearts to the sentiment for an extra dose of love. I hope this card delivers a ray of sunshine. :o)
* Die Cuttin Divas~ Zoo Crazy
* Getting Cricky~ Halloween
Now it's time for one of my favorite parts of the week: Sweet Saturday! For the second time in a row, I changed up my Sweet Saturday dessert. It originally was going to be last weekend's intended recipe... but when Tuesday came along and I finally had pumpkin on hand, I decided I couldn't wait any longer for this particular treat. I first saw it last autumn and had been craving it ever since. At long last, I made these treats... and they were every bit of perfection that countless readers proclaimed. A new seasonal staple in my repertoire: Pumpkin Muffins with Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling.
(Don't mind the photographs... the skies were messing with me all the way up until I was done trying. Fickle!)
These are AMAZING. The muffins encompass all the pumpkin and spicy love of autumn, while the dollop of filling adds a burst of creamy oomph. Much of the topping sort of melts into the muffin while baking, leaving only a light coating on top... which is divine. (And it sparkles.) The scent lingered for hours in the kitchen, making it even better. Want to know how incredible these are? I made a double batch (knowing they would be fabulous) and since my boyfriend was visiting that day before work, I sent some with him for his coworkers. Everyone loved them and one even asked if I would make some for her family gathering next weekend. These are truly magical. In fact, my mom did her part in devouring the quantity and she doesn't even like cream cheese. These will certainly be making another few appearances in my home before season's end... and I hope you give them a try, too! You won't be disappointed.
Note: These are a bit more involved than your typical muffin, but it is worth it. Make the filling in advance so it's ready when you want to bake. :o) Also, if you love vanilla, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the muffins. It's a popular variation, but I chose to go strictly pumpkin with mine this time.
Thank you for visiting me today! You make me sparkle like a star. I was going to post my long overdue Butterfly Award thanks and love.. but this is long already. It is coming with my next post! Just know until then that each one shared with me has meant a ton. :o) Thank you, my dear friends!
Pumpkin Muffins with Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling
Yield: 24 muffins
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log. Reinforce with aluminum foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.
To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350º F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and oil.
Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently combine the batter, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let them come to room temperature before serving or warm briefly in the microwave.
Source: Muffins and topping: Annie's Eats; Filling: Brown Eyed Baker
Key Recipe Components (for card):
* Cricut cartridge: Create a Critter
* Cuttlebug embossing folder: Polka Dots
* Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Papertrey Ink
* Twine: Sew Easy (limeade)
* Sentiment: Computer generated
* Miscellaneous: Dew Drop Brilliance Ink (for blush), Glossy Accents, Stickles