These streusel topped, freshly baked, filling-without-coring muffins were made for the “Academy Night”, a goofy Oscar Award event pulled together by the RA's of my university housing. What's better than melting a blob of cream cheese in your oral cavity on a Sunday night? With caramel and a mouthful of fluffy muffin perhaps?
Plus, how many times in life do you get to poke your finger in a pool of muffin batter? —Cara Feng
Streusel & caramel cream cheese filling
unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F/220°C, line a muffin tin with one dozen paper liners. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, leavening agents, salt) in a bowl until no lump persists (do this first so you only dirty one whisk, once!).
Streusel: in a food processor, process the ingredients for streusel topping until pea-sized pieces form. You can also do this in a bowl with a pastry cutter, a fork, two knives, or cold fingertips. Keep cold in the refrigerator.
Filling: in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the room temperature cream cheese and caramel sauce until well combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter with sugar until fully combined. Drop in the room temperature eggs one at a time, mix thoroughly after each addition. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, pour in the wet ingredients and gently fold to combine until you don’t see any air pockets.
Fill the muffin tin to 3/4 full. Dip your finger in some flour, quickly poke into the center of a puddle of batter and move it around to create more space, repeat until you have 12 wells. Take about 1/2-1 Tbsp of the cream cheese filling and drop into the well, fill all muffins. Sprinkle the streusel on top and blow off the excess, bake at 425°F/220°C for 5 minutes and turn down the heat to 350°F/170°C, bake for another 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake part comes out clean.