Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins

I work from home – as do most of my coworkers – so when we actually see each other on someone’s birthday, it’s an occasion that demands goodies. There happened to be a team meeting on Dawn’s birthday, so I whipped these up to bring in. They were a bit hit at our morning meeting. They’re a bit time-consuming but so good.
 
I opted for these because they were sweet enough and special enough to pass for a birthday treat while still being acceptable for the morning since we usually end up heading home at lunch time. We work-from-home people don’t do rush hour traffic well!
 
 
Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins
(from Food Wanderings in Asia)
Makes 1 dozen muffins
 
Muffin Batter:
2 . all purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
 
2 c. strawberries, cut into small pieces
 
Cream Cheese Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 T. beaten egg
1 t. vanilla extract
 
Cinnamon Streusel:
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter, cold
 
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
 
For the streusel topping: Sift the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Whisk together. Add the cold butter and mix with a fork until the mixture looks like coarse wet sand. Set aside.
 
For the cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
 
For the muffin batter: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Whisk together. In another bowl, beat the milk, oil, egg and sugar. Stir the dry ingredients into the milk mixture gently. Do not overmix. The muffin batter will be slightly lumpy.
 
Scoop a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cupcake liner. Sprinkle a few pieces of strawberries. Add a dollop (about a heaping teaspoon) of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle a little of the cinnamon streusel on top of the filling, followed by another layer of the muffin batter. Add a few more pieces of strawberries. Lastly, sprinkle the cinnamon streusel on top.
 
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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