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The flavors of fall all wrapped up in a muffin … and no one will know they contain a vegetable.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease 12 jumbo muffin cups or spray them with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Place the shredded zucchini in a mesh strainer to drain. Set it aside while assembling the other ingredients.
For the cheesecake batter:
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well mixed. Set aside.
For the gingerbread muffin batter:
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, oil, vanilla extract and caramel extract until well blended.
With your hands (or a potato ricer works great for this), squeeze the excess moisture out of the shredded zucchini, then stir it into the egg mixture.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Add the flour mixture into the egg/zucchini mixture and stir just until combined. Set aside.
For the streusel topping:
Combine the brown sugar and flour in a small bowl. Stir in the oil until the mixture is well combined and has a sandy texture.
Divide half of the gingerbread batter between the prepared muffin cups. Divide all of the cheesecake batter between the muffin cups and spread it across the gingerbread batter. Top the cheesecake batter with the remaining gingerbread batter. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the streusel topping.
Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven.
Let the muffins cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Then run a butter knife around the edge of each muffin and gently lift the muffins out of the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 jumbo muffins or 24 regular muffins.
Streusel topping adapted from Barbara Bakes.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!