Mix the cream cheese, powder sugar, and vanilla together until well incorporated.
Form the mixture into a long log on top of a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil
Wrap up and freeze for about 2 hours.
For the muffins:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the cupcake/muffin tins with cups or grease well.
Finely chop sugared pecans for topping and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt) and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin on low speed (or whisk by hand) until combined.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined (do not overmix).
Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 pieces.
To assemble the muffins, spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each tin, top with the cream cheese slice, and finish with another 2 tablespoons of batter (try your best to ensure the cream cheese is in the center of the muffin)
Top with a sprinkling of the chopped sugared pecans
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Allow the cream cheese to cool before eating. It will be hot!
Using cupcake trays, I ended up with 24 small muffins
Recipe by Feeling Foodish at http://feelingfoodish.com/pumpkin-muffins-with-cream-cheese-center/