These muffins scream Fall and they are absolutely delicious. All the flavors of pumpkin spice, tart apple bites, and a melty cream cheese core - you may even be tempted to eat these as dessert.
I like to freeze the cream cheese a bit before so that it doesn't just dissolve into the batter but stays in place. You can half the batter if you only want to make one dozen muffins, but I think you will find that these do not stick around for long!
If you have leftover pumpkins from your fall decorations you can make pumpkin puree from them! Cut them in half if they are small or into slices if bigger. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 325° for an hour to an hour and a half, until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool and then scrape the pulp from the shells, discard the shells. Whatever you don't use immediately you can freeze in ziplock bags.
Some pumpkins are more yellow on the inside than orange - if you want the classic orange color for your bakes just a few drops of food coloring will do.
Makes 2 dozen muffins
4 oz cream cheese (half of a block)
2 cups Pumpkin Puree
2 green apples chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup sunflower seed oil (or other neutral oil like vegetable or canola)
1 Tbsp ground flax
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Place the cream cheese in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350° and grease 2 sets of muffin tins. Mix together all ingredients except the the cream cheese. Pour the batter into the muffin tins.
Take the cream cheese out of the freezer and cut into small rectangles. Insert one rectangle of cream cheese into the center of each muffin.
Bake the muffins for 25-30 minutes until set. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.