I'm about to make a few of you gasp. I know it. It's a dark secret I've kept well hidden for a very long time. But, it's time to come clean.
Until I made this recipe, I've never tasted Nutella. Yes, folks, I was a nutella virgin, who finally dipped a spoon into a jar of this creamy, dark brown spread and took her first taste. I'm not a huge peanut butter fan (with the exception of Peanut Butter Filled Hot Fudge Cupcakes). Sure, I like a PBJ, every so often. But, eating peanut butter from a spoon makes me think of the few times I watched my brothers feed it to our dog. They thought it was hilarious how the dog struggled to get that thick paste down. That's what I thought Nutella would be like.
I get it, now. Nutella isn't pasty. It's creamy. It's delicious. It's addicting, and I am a lover of anything with hazelnuts. So, I'm indoctrinated, and it's a very good thing.
A recipe card is at the end of this post. I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to the development of this recipe as originally coming from the food blog "Phenomenon". My printable recipe card is at the end of this post, with a few very minor adaptions to it.
For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to the food blog "Robin, Restored" . After searching through a lot of tasty looking recipes, I narrowed down my choice to baking something with pumpkin. What better way to get into the mood for Fall, than to bake with pumpkin? After all, I've been seeing Halloween decorations right next to the Christmas trees-- with Christmas music playing? Seriously? That's what I've been seeing at Big Box Stores. I digress...
I spotted Robin's recipe for Pumpkin Nutella Cream Cheese Muffins. Wait! Pumpkin Nutella... Nutella! I had a jar of Nutella in my pantry, waiting for the right moment. This was it. I really liked the idea of adding cream cheese, but I didn't want to mute the Nutella, because I've never baked with it before. It was morning, I was hungry and muffins are one of my favorite breakfast baked goods (next to scones, of course).
So, now the Nutella goes on top.
..and I used a toothpick to swirl the Nutella around a bit.
Bake these at 375F for 25-30 minutes. However, I always set my timer for less than five minutes of the minimum recommended time. Good thing I did! The muffins were baked in 20 minutes.
Whenever I remove baked muffins from the oven, I quickly tip them to one side-- this helps to prevent soggy bottoms.
Then, I placed them on a cooling rack for a few more minutes. Get the coffee going...
Ladies & Gentlemen... Pumpkin and Nutella. Warm and Fresh, from the oven on a Fall morning.
Nom, nom, nom...
TASTING NOTES: The pumpkin muffin is really moist with a very tender crumb. I love pumpkin, but my husband does not (with the exception of pumpkin pie or homemade pumpkin custard ice cream). My son and I had no problem eating one...or two...with a cup of hot coffee. I'm not gonna lie-- the Nutella flavor does get a bit muted, once it's baked. It's not a bad thing, but it's something I took note of. All that means is that I'm going to have to develop a Nutella Custard Ice Cream. Something tells me that Nutella has limitless possibilities, in the kitchen.