4ouncesreduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
For the topping:
2tablespoonswhite whole wheat flour
4tablespoonsold fashioned rolled oats
1 ½tablespoonscoarse sugar (turbinado or demerera)
1 ½tablespoonscold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the muffins:
1 ½cupswhite whole wheat flour
2teaspoonspumpkin pie spice
½teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
¾cupgranulated sugar (honey would also work)
1cuppacked pumpkin puree
¼cupneutral flavored oil(such as canola)
For the filling:
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and honey. Whisk until smooth. Drop by the teaspoon full onto a plate covered with wax paper that will fit into your freezer. You should have 12 rounds total. Place in the freezer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
For the streusel topping:
To make the topping, combine the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the muffins:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, spices,salt and baking soda.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil and applesauce. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
Fill the bottom of each muffin well with 1-2 tablespoons of batter; or enough to cover the bottom. Place a round of cream cheese into each of the 12 muffin wells. Divide the remainder of the batter evenly into each well, being sure to cover the cream cheese completely.
Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over each muffin well.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 20-30 minutes before serving as the filling will be very hot! Muffins will keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1 week.