Caramel Maccihato Cream Cheese Muffins (adapted from Peabody)
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder
1/3 cup caramel flavored hot chocolate powder
½ cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Caramel Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 TBSP caramel sauce (store bought or homemade, I actually used the Hershey's syrup caramel syrup and it worked fabulously)
¼ cup (hefty cup) brown sugar
1 TBSP all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 F and grease or line muffin tins.
Grab a small saucepan and heat the milk. Add the hot chocolate and the powdered espresso. Whisk and set aside.
Cream together on medium speed the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla extract and espresso hot chocolate milk mixture, and beat for an additional minutes.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Dump the flour mixture into mixing bowl and whip the mixtures together just until combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each one about 2/3 of the way full.
For the cream cheese filling:
Grab another bowl and beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the caramel and beat on medium-high for about 2 minutes-- until it is nice and smooth. Add sugar, egg, and flour and beat an additional 2 minutes. *Peabody says "Using a piping bag with large tip, fill the bag with cream cheese mixture. Place tip into the middle of the muffin and fill until you see the cream cheese on top. Repeat with all of the muffins." However, my cream cheese mixture was entirely too runny for those directions so I just poured my cream cheese mixture over each muffin and marbled the two mixtures with a knife and it worked just fine.
Bake for 20 minutes ish until edges are brown and your cake tester (knife, toothpick, skewer, whatever) comes out clean.
feel free to smother in caramel.