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.
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.