Chef Lou's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins


8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons pumpkin
2-1/2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs
1-1/3 cups pumpkin
1/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Orange Glaze (optional-see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups, or use cupcake papers

For cream cheese filling
In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese with egg, vanilla, and brown sugar. Until smooth. Set aside.

For Streusel Topping
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Mash in pumpkin and mix well until mixture becomes crumbly. Set aside.

For muffin batter
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Form a well in the center of the flour mix and add eggs, pumpkin, butter, and vanilla. Mix together just until incorporated. Scoop pumpkin mix in muffin cup about halfway up. Then add 1 tablespoon cream cheese mix on top of batter. Sprinkle on the streusel topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pans. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Drizzle Orange glaze on top, if desired.

Orange Glaze
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
¼ cup orange juice
Combine powdered sugar and orange juice; stir well over medium heat until reaches a temperature of 120 degrees. Spread evenly over bread.