1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese sugar and egg together until smooth. Refrigerate.
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
2 1/2 cups fresh (or canned) pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
or 2/3 cup butterscotch chips (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat together oil, eggs, water and pumpkin. Add to dry mixture and, using a wooden spoon, mix together with a few strokes, just to combine. Fold in pecans or butterscotch chips.
Line or prepare 24 regular-sized muffin tins and evenly divide batter. Make a small well in the centre of each muffin and drop in about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a pastry rack to cool completely.