Saturday, April 21, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins {Breakfast is Served}

Balancing work, blogging, baking and chatting with my boyfriend who lives in Europe at midnight is really starting to take its toll on me. I've had 3 hours of sleep the past few nights this week. I barely even get to enjoy my weekends anymore because I have to buy ingredients for orders from friends and then I spend whatever free time I have left baking. Honestly, I don't know why I do it, why I sell baked goods when I get so little profit that I wonder if it's even worth it. The only thing that comforts me a little is that I get to share my food with others which makes me happy.

If I could have a change of career, I would like to be a chef, whether it be at a restaurant or a private chef. Chefs can cook whatever they want all day long and they don't evenneed to worry about where to get the money for the ingredients. I love to bake but really, it's an expensive hobby. I'm sure all bloggers agree, unless of course you're The Pioneer Woman who makes a million dollars a year from her blog. 

I admire all those other bloggers out there who juggle full time jobs, families and kids and still find the time to post 10 or more recipes in a month. Where do they get all the time? I don't know how they do it. It must be a skill.

When life gets tough, little things such as a simple good muffin with a warm, relaxing chamomile tea can make make you feel better, if only for a while. These muffins are actually a treat for me since strawberries are expensive here but I just couldn't resist buying them. 

Do I like these muffins? Mmm.. I LOVE fruity cakes and desserts. I love the idea of layering the muffin batter, the bits of fresh strawberries and cream cheese filling while the cinnamon streusel gives the cupcakes a nice crisp on top. It's like a cross between a muffin and a cheesecake studded with strawberries. But these might have been a tad bit too moist for my taste. I might make these again with a few changes though. I realized the original recipe used less milk. 

These muffins are great for breakfast, coffee or afternoon tea. Try it! 

recipe first seen at  Patty's Food adapted from Squirrel Bakes 

Muffin Batter:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup whole milk (original recipe used 3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups strawberries, cut into small pieces

Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Streusel 
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, cold

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

Streusel Topping:
Sift the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Whisk together. Add the cold butter and mix with a fork until the mixture looks like coarse wet sand. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:
Beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Muffin Batter:
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Whisk together. In another bowl, beat the milk, oil, egg and sugar. Stir the dry ingredients into the milk mixture gently. Do not overmix. The muffin batter will be slightly lumpy.

Scoop a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cupcake liner. Sprinkle a few pieces of strawberries. Add a dollop (about a heaping teaspoon) of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle a little of the cinnamon streusel on top of the filling, followed by another layer of the muffin batter. Add a few more pieces of strawberries. Lastly, sprinkle the cinnamon streusel on top. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee.