- Pumpkin Walnut Cream Cheese Muffins -

   I know we're a ways past Fall and traditional "pumpkin season" but I have a great recipe for you! While I was visiting family for Thanksgiving, I got to bond with my littlest nephew Z [he's almost two]. He saw me baking and cooking every day and associated me with the mixer. It was too cute. First thing in the morning two days before my trip ended, Z saw me, took my hand, walked me to the cabinet with the mixer, and handed the mixer to me. All while saying in his cute voice, "Cinnnnmiiinnn, Nutmeg."  That was his sweet little way of telling me, "Let's bake, Aunt Linny!" :)  And though I didn't have plans to bake anything right then, I couldn't resist spending time with Z and letting him help me bake.
 the cutie pie with the mixer
So that's when I came up with this recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Walnuts. And, boy, am I glad Z wanted me to make something! These muffins turned out so well. Much better than my first pumpkin muffin attempt! They've got a great consistency, and spicy-pumpkiny flavor, and the walnuts add a nice crunch. The cream cheese makes it even better with its creamy sweetness.  Definitely a crowd pleaser. Everyone that tried these really liked them. Including little Z.


• 3 eggs
• ½ c ZSweet

• 4 tbsp butter, softened
• 1 c almond flour
• 2 tbsp coconut four
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ c pumpkin
• 1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ¼ tsp cloves
• ½ cup of finely chopped walnuts

- Preheat oven to 350ยบ
- Grease&flour muffin tin or line with liners.
- In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients- except walnuts- until well mixed.
- Add walnuts and stir to incorporate.
- Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop batter into muffin tin filling ¾ the way up.
- Try to make an indent in the middle of each for the cream cheese.


• 5 tbsp cream cheese, softened
• 1 tbsp heavy cream
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 ½ tbsp ZSweet, powdered [granulated works, too]

- In a small bowl beat ingredients until fluffy.
- Place about a tablespoon of mixture into indents in the dough.
- Evenly distribute any remaining cream cheese mixture.
- Bake muffins for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan at least 10 minutes prior to eating.


And check out these recipes from others:
Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

- Swerve Sweetener -

   I am quite excited to tell you guys about this new sweetener I am using! It is still the sugar alcohol Erythritol, but it's a different brand and formulation. I Love it!
   The company, Swerve, was so very generous and sent me a complimentary goodie box. How RAD of them?! Seriously. I was so excited when this came in the mail. I've been wanting to try Swerve for a while now and this is my opportunity. And what's even better is that I had run out of the sweetener I  used to use the day before I receive this package from Swerve. Perfect timing!
   Unlike in other brands of erythritol, the lovely people at Swerve were able to remove the strange cooling sensation that is typical in erythritol. That is what I am most excited about in using Swerve over other brands of erythritol. Swerve is also not mixed with stevia but is equal in sweetness to sugar. It measures and bakes like sugar. It is a wonderful replacement for sugars! It's got no calories, doesn't impact blood sugar levels (a 0 on the glycemic index), and is safe for diabetics. I highly recommend Swerve. And, no, they did not ask me to write anything about them. These are my own genuine opinions. 
   So far I have used the confectioners type of Swerve in peanut butter frosting and chocolate peanut butter mousse (both recipes, by the way, were phenomenal) :). It worked wonderfully. No cooling sensation. No strange aftertaste. It just sweetened as it should and tasted great. I also used an individual pack in my blended coffee at work- tasted great! No artificial taste (note: it's not an artificial sweetener like splenda/sweet n low/ equal). I also gave a few packets to a coworker.
   Overall, I am very very pleased with Swerve and truly recommend you try it out. If you're looking for ways to be healthier, cut calories, reduce sugar or carb intake, (or any other reason!) do yourself a favor and buy a bag! You can even request a free sample so you can try it without having to buy a whole bag first. When you purchase your Swerve, let them know I sent ya. :)
   Happy Healthy Baking!