I've been wanting to make Honey and Cheese-filled Fig Muffins for a few months now, but there was always something I needed. First it was the figs. Then it was buttermilk and cream cheese. Then I realized that I should wait to make them because we already had breakfasts for the week. So I planned to make them on Sunday evening, when I could try one right after I baked them and have them throughout the week.
This recipe originally took goat cheese, but said I could use light cream cheese instead. I usually don't like cheese, but I do enjoy sweetened cream cheese in cheesecake and frosting, so I figured I would like this. I followed the recipe pretty closely. I'm generally prone to dumping everything together at once, but I mixed everything in batches separately as the recipe directed. I'm glad I did, because you do need to whisk the eggs, egg white, brown sugar, buttermilk, and olive oil together first to get it to blend. I didn't measure the figs, because I couldn't use more than what I had leftover from Valentine's Day. Rather than chop them by hand, I put them in my Magic Bullet blender , which processed them into more of a chunky paste. I had to separate them into chunks with a fork in the batter so that I wouldn't end up with a few giant clumps of fig. I baked them the maximum 15 minutes.
These baked very nicely. I have some in cupcake wrappers because I may freeze them. I normally don't fill muffin cups so full, but I didn't want to have to pull out another muffin pan. Assembling these was a little more complicated than usual because you have a surprise in the center...
You have to put batter in the bottom of the cup, spoon a generous teaspoon of cream cheese filling into the center, and cover completely with more batter. This definitely needs to be about half of the batter on top, not just a thin coating - I had one muffin that's slightly split on top so that I can see the cream cheese. I wish I had spread the cream cheese closer to the edges than I did in the picture above, but that's a personal preference. I also had a little cream cheese mixture leftover (you need about 6 ounces of cream cheese here - don't bother scooping it into a measuring cup, as I did).
These are very tasty, and hearty. They're a little time-consuming for muffins, but I'd make them again. And I would definitely be sure to include the lemon-cream cheese center.