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Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Feel the Love and Sweet Saturday!

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.

"Pumpkin Love"

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)

Challenges entered:
 * 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 350ยบ 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



  1. Adorable card Karen!! you will for sure make someone's day with this cutie!
    Those muffins look awesome!! TFS the recipe also :)

  2. So I signed in and your card was the first update on my dashboard. What a sweet wonderful card to send to a child. Penguins are my favorite, they are just so sweet and playful. Those faces, and the lollipops just adds more of that. Whoever gets this is going to love it Karen. You always put so much love into your creations.

    OMG!!!! You are so my new best friend. Last fall Starbucks came out with pumpkin cream cheese muffins. When I took my first bite they immediately became my guilty pleasure. You just savor every last bite. I remember sitting in the car thinking I stopped for a quick coffee and now I got myself into trouble..I can eat ten of these in one sitting. I just had to call my hubby to tell him about this new treat I had found. From then on it became a weekly, sometimes even twice a week treat (shhh don't tell anyone). Well the season ended and so did my love affair with the best dessert I ever had in my life:( WHY did I never think to see if I could make them myself?? It is really weird how are minds don't think outside the box sometimes. Then as soon as you see something like this you go why did I not think of that. OMG...I am so excited you have no idea. I can't wait to whip up my first batch. I must do it tomorrow. Running to tell the hubby..he will be thrilled. Thank you so much, you made my weekend!!! HUGS!

  3. Wow your card is fabulous but your muffins look adorable yummy:) Sandra H

  4. Me to DH: "Ooooh, Karen made pumpkin muffins with vanilla cream cheese frosting!"
    DH: "Karen rocks. We like Karen."

    :) :) :)

    You card is delightful! That cute little penguin is sharing his Halloween goodies - how sweet! It's the perfect Halloween card for Madison's project (Madison is wonderful, isn't she?). I am in AWE of your drawn-on PKS faces (it's a good day for me if I can write my name legibly). You are just so super talented!

    Hugs, Nita :)

  5. Your card is just darling, it SO makes me smile! I love your sparkly penguin sitting on that adorable pumpkin:) and those yummy little lollipops, so cute! TFS!

    Okay, now for the dessert. I "must" make these. I just did some baking and I think I need to go back and try these. Calorie free, right?? LOL

    Wow, thanks for sharing your wonderful project and these yummy muffins! I loved your peanut butter bars..big hit Karen:)
    Sherrie K

  6. Ack! I love the little penguino! What a darling! And I love how well he's getting along with the equally adorable pumpkin. I remain amazed that you draw those faces yourself, Sweets. I think you might be lying actually. They're too good ;) I know the lucky child who gets this card is going to absolutely love it. The sparkles make me think of sugared candy, and I can't help but smile. Amazing job as always. <3

  7. I LOVE THIS. It's just too cute. I sure hope you don't mind if I lift this. Great job! Good luck!
    Thank you for playing our Simply Sunday Challenge at Getting Cricky.
    Hugs :),
    Kathy - Getting Cricky DTM

  8. Karen!!!! This card is amazing:) What a cute idea:) I love the lollipops in the pumpkin:) So clever. Thank you for your support.

  9. YAY, Sweet Saturday!!!!! Once again, you amaze me my sweet and sparkly friend! The card is so absolutely adorable! I love the sprightly penguin with his shiny lollipops! How cute is he?! And the pumpkin is so awesome...wearing his heart on his skin :) I love the pumpkin top on the penguin's creative and awesome! And oh my gosh, do those pumpkin muffins with vanilla filling look delicious! I love anything with a creme filling! I can't wait to try them! Thank you for another fabulous Sweet Saturday!! And thanks also for linking up your beautiful card with the Getting Cricky Simply Sunday Challenge! I hope you are having a great weekend, Karen :D


  10. GAH! You must seriously be trying to get rid of me for good, aren't you? You knew right well that a combination of pumpkin muffins and a super happy pumpkin card would prove to be a lethal combination for your sister. But you didn't even hesitate to post it for Sweet Saturday, did you? SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

    Me thinks I just died a very happy woman. TEE HEE!

    OMJ! Do you know how badly I want one of those muffins, Sunshine? MUST HAVE MUST HAVE!!! *faints* And how cruel is that teasing us with an inside view of those beauties?! ARRGGG! The torture! TEE HEE!

    Did you have a blast making them Sunshine? And I can't even imagine how fun it was to make your beyond precious pumpkin card!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!! I wish I could be there to watch the wee one's face light up when he/she holds your gift for the first time, sis. That little pumpkin and penguin are going to bring so much light to a little one's life. Your love will burst right out of that card the second they open it. It will mean more than even the sweetest lollipop they have ever eaten.

    *hugglers the pumpkin forever because I love it sooooooooooooooooooo crazy much*

    Will you come decorate my house for the fall with endless happy pumpkins, Sunshine? I need you to help me! *begs*

    God bless you Sunshine...your love is surreal. If only you knew just how much your kindness means to those who need it most. *squishers you forever*

  11. This card is just adorable! It will definately brighten the child's day that receives it. The faces on the penguin and pumpkin look amazing! I can't believe you drew them! Very cute! :)


  12. Okay this penguin and pumpkin are absolutely ADORABLE!!!! Perfect as can be. And I just can't tell you how much I love it! And those muffins look absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!! Hugs- Glora

  13. Hi Karen,your gorgeous card is a ray of sunshine and will definitely make someone's day! I love the sparkly penguin popping out of the lovable pumpkin with all his lollies.
    Jayne x

  14. This is the first card I have seen that has mixed pumpkins and penguins, SOOO cute! The muffin recipe sounds sooo good! thanks for sharing with us at CTO.

  15. I love your card Karen, Penguins are so so cute.... and do you mind if I try that recipe of yours ?? I will sure give you credit...



  16. What a sweet little penguin sittin' in a sweet little pumpkin! They are two peas in a pod! LOL! How absolutely adorable is this card! I love it! And, did I really read correctly you DREW their little faces? Oh my goodness!
    And your muffins look delicious! I had to laugh at Stephanie's comment, that is too funny and so me! I LOVE anything pumpkin so I will have to try these out. YUMM!! xo

  17. I got all caught up in the excitement, but meant to say that I love that this card will be going to a very special child at the Pediatric Specialty Care center. It will no doubt brighten a very special spirit of a very special child! And how special you are Karen to send a card (but I already knew that!) xx

  18. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek this is the CUTEST Halloween card I've ever seen in my life! I love it! My son has been in and out of the children's hospitals (21 surgeries and he is 11) so I know how many wonderful people do things like this--it really is special!
    Thank you for joining us for the Simply Sunday Challenge at Getting Cricky!--your project was Boo-tiful!!!

    Big Cricky Hugs,
    K Andrew
    Check out my Sentiment Stamps

  19. OMG! your card is adorable, the penguin popping out of the pumpkin is so cute! And those yummy treats look awesome!
    Thank you for playing with us this week
    Getting Cricky DTM
    Creations With Becka

  20. Okay, this penguin inside the pumpkin is PRECIOUS! What a great idea! I love it!!
    :) Janis
    Getting Cricky DTM

  21. Your card is so cute and I think I am going to need to try that recipe. (cream cheese filling . . . yum!)

    Shawn ~ Getting Cricky Design Team Member
    Crafty Chics Blog
    and ~ Find your Cricut images FAST!

  22. Hi there, came across your blog from Sherrie K. so glad I did! What lovely projects and just heavenly recipes! I'm with Stephanie the pumpkin muffins at Starbucks are my guilty pleasure too. These are going to be fabulous! Thank you for sharing both! I'm a proud new follower!


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