What’s the best thing about making a recipe that calls for beer, lager, or ale? When the recipe doesn’t use the entire bottle of beer, which means I get to finish it off. You can’t feel guilty about drinking at one in the afternoon if it means you’re not having to pour a beer down the drain. Sometimes, you get an evil look from the cat though.
For the Muffins:
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
- 3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 2/3 Cup Pumpkin Ale
- Juice of 1 Orange
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Melted Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Canola Oil
For the Filling:
- 1 (8-oz.) Package of Cream Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- Zest of 1 Orange
For the Topping:
- 5 Standard Size Graham Crackers
- 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Melted Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin ale, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, canola oil, and orange juice.
- Drink the remaining ale, ignoring the nasty looks being cast in your general direction. It doesn’t count as drinking if it’s not a full beer!
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula until just combined.
- In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest with a spatula.
- In a food processor, add the graham crackers and process until reduced to fine crumbs.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt to the graham crackers; pulse to combine.
- Add the melted butter to the graham cracker mixture, pulse to combine.
- Scoop one heaping cookie scoop of batter into each paper muffin cup liner. Top with a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture in the middle. Add another cookie scoop of batter on top of the cream cheese. Top each of the muffins with some of the graham cracker mixture.
- Bake for 22 minutes.
- Use paper cupcake liners inside of your muffin tins to make cleanup easier. Bake It Pretty offers a great selection of elegant cupcake liners; my favorite for fall would be these Milk Chocolate Brown Damask Cupcake Liners.
- If you prefer a more traditional pumpkin pie flavor, you can replace the ground cinnamon and nutmeg in this recipe by using 3 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice instead.
- Make sure to zest the orange for the filling, before you juice the orange for the muffin batter.
- If you don’t have pumpkin ale handy, try using an Octoberfest beer instead. Dominion Octoberfest Maerzen, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, and Shiner Oktoberfest are all easy to find in the Northern Virginia area. I used Saranac Pumpkin Ale in this recipe.
- This recipe will make 12 to 16 muffins, depending on how much batter, filling, and topping you use for each muffin.
- Add chocolate chips to the batter for an extra special treat. 1/4 – 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips or shaved semi-sweet chocolate would work best. Add them in with the dry ingredients; the flour coating will help keep them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins.
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