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Pumpkin Baked Breakfast Cups

Somehow I made the varsity tennis team my senior year of high school. That somehow was because the best player decided not to play that year, and there ended up being an opening on the roster that I squeaked into despite my lack of super skill. After cuts had been made and the roster finalized, that player ended up wanting to play anyway, so naturally we added her back, and I ended up being the team’s 18th seed out of 18 players. Except then one girl dislocated her shoulder, so by default I moved up the ladder and became the 17th seed out of 18 players, so technically I was not the worst one. Yeeeah, bitches!

The problem was that only one other school in our entire county had the number of preppy white girls players as we did, so I basically never got to play. One singles match ever. I’m pretty sure the girl let me win because I had some people cheering for me. And three doubles matches ever. During one of those, our team forgot we were playing and loaded up on the bus and tried to leave, until I put my racquet down in the middle of the court mid-point, ran over to the fence and yelled at them. We did not win that match.

Instead, I spent the season dressed in a very adorable tennis dress, camped out by the snack table and carb loaded. Just in case I was called in to play. I ate a lot of cinnamon crunch bagels. A lot. I ate a shiz load of granola bars. Some fruit here and there. And a lot of cheese. By the end of the season, I’d gained quite a few pounds. I’m pretty sure the one good thing about the season was that I maxed out on convenience bars and bagels, as they’ve really lost their luster since 2003 for me, but Trader Joe’s and their siren call of pumpkin goods reignited a love affair when I tried their “A Pumpkin Walked Into a Bar” bars. Exquisite. As convenience snack food goes, anyway. And surely pretty healthy (nope).

Not wanting a repeat of 2003’s varsity tennis body (you know, despite the fact that I am nearly 7.5 months pregnant at the moment), I decided that I needed to make my own version. Except I am really, really, really bad… like really bad… at the finesse of rolling dough, cutting accurately, filling cleanly… basically any of the skills required to make a cereal bar. So I went to Pinterest, found a cereal bar in cup form, knew we would be friends and whipped up a pumpkin filling. These are delicious. Like I “aced” these. To bring our tennis metaphors full circle. Yep, they’re a “winner.” Those were pretty bad back-to-back like that… “double fault”?
Pumpkin CupsPumpkin Baked Breakfast Cups
Recipe adapted from Once a Month Meals
1 c. butter, softened
1.5 c. oats, ground (this took about 20 seconds in the food processor)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1 can pumpkin puree
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray muffin pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine butter, ground oats, 1 c. brown sugar, both flours and vanilla. Using your hands, mix until dough comes together, well incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, softened cream cheese, 1/4 c. brown sugar and spices. Beat thoroughly until well combined. Add half of the dough mixture to each of the muffin tins (I yielded 14 total). Press the mixtures into the muffin tins creating a lip or cup in each tin. Add spoonful of pumpkin mixture into each cup. With remaining dough mixture, create equal sized balls. Press each ball into a flat circle large enough to cover the top of each filled cup. The disc to the top of each cup and press the edges to meet the sides of the bottom dough (some pumpkin mixture may squirt out the sides… this is okay). Baked at 350 for 25 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool nearly completely 10-15 minutes. Using a cooling rack, invert the muffin tin and allow cups to continue cooling.

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