5.13.2013

Strawberry Cheesecake Streusel Muffins


When it comes to desserts, I don't discriminate. I love 'em all. However, I do hold a special place in my heart for desserts that combine my favorite flavors. Like these oatmeal peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies- legit. And this snickers Nutella ice cream cake- I could eat all day. Even better are desserts that combine two or more desserts into one. You may remember my cookie dough cream pie? Or my banana split cheesecake? And there's no way you forgot the molten chocolate surprise


Today, we're adding another one to the list. Strawberry cheesecake streusel muffins. There was no way I was keeping this one in the recipe queue for long. I always have a steady supply of strawberries in my house. And though they serve me well in fabulous shakes and smoothies every morning, this Sunday I decided I'd put them to use in a different way.


Admittedy, I am one of those weird people who likes strawberries, but doesn't like strawberry flavored things. So, even though these muffins looked really good on Alyssa's site, I was still a teensy bit concerned about the strawberry flavor. I've never baked with fresh strawberries before, and I wasn't looking forward to biting into any soggy ones. Like the ones you find in yogurt.


Gratefully, that turned out not to be the case. The strawberries dissolved into jam in the oven. So, biting into these muffins, I got part moist muffin, part delicious cheesecake filling, part strawberry jam, and part crunchy cinnamon streusel topping. We call that, a quadruple whammy. Need I say more?
 

Strawberry Cheesecake Streusel Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
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Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

1 and 1/2 cups finely diced strawberries

For the cheesecake filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons beaten egg
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

For the cinnamon streusel:
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, cold

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Slowly stir in dry ingredients just until combined, making sure not to overmix. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

In another bowl, prepare the cheesecake filling by using an electric mixer to beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

Next, make the streusel topping by combining flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter using a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 

Scoop a tablespoon of muffin batter into each cupcake liner. Top with a few diced strawberries, then add a dollop(about 1/2 tablespoon) of the cheesecake filling. Sprinkle some streusel on top of the cheesecake filling, then add another layer of muffin batter. Top with more diced strawberries, and lastly, a heaping sprinkle of streusel.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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