Old recipe – Spiced pumpkin bread

Forgive me for posting more than one recipe in a week, but I haven’t been able to get it together enough to write anything else this in the last few days. I was pretty busy at work last week and I’ve been all over the place this weekend. At the beginning of a weekend I always feel like I have tons of time to do everything that I want to, but then the two days pass so quickly that I hardly know how I spent them. It’s a bit frustrating, really. But that’s a subject for another time.

Getting back to the food, I can’t believe I’ve never posted either of my favorite pumpkin bread recipes before! I must remedy this error as quickly as possible. Since fall technically started last week I decided to bake some pumpkin bread for my co-workers. Of the two most successful recipes I’ve tried, this one is the easiest since it doesn’t require any out of the ordinary ingredients. (The other recipe calls for “cook and serve” vanilla pudding mix which I never have just lying around.) I’ve had a couple of cans of pumpkin sitting in my cupboard since last year, begging to be made into yummy treats, so I didn’t even have to get any at the store before whipping up this delicious seasonal treat! By far the best thing about this pumpkin bread is the mix of spices. I added the pumpkin pie spice myself, and maybe next time I’ll throw in a little cardamom for good measure. You really can’t go wrong. I’m not sure anything tastes more like fall than this pumpkin bread. Plus, the recipe makes 2 or 3 loaves. It’s so good you’ll need that much to go around!

1 c canola oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
2/3 c water
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour

In a large bowl (or extra large if you have it – this recipe produces a lot of batter!), stir together the canola oil (you can substitute 1/2 c butter and 1/2 c oil if you want), pumpkin, water, eggs, vanilla, and sugar (you can use a mix of white and brown sugars if you want). Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice, and stir until combined. Now it’s time to break out the electric mixer (if you haven’t already). Add 2 c of the flour (I used a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour) to the bowl and blend until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the other 1 1/2 c of flour and blend until combined. Divide the batter between a couple of greased loaf pans. The original recipe calls for three 7×3″ pans, but since I don’t have any of those I used one 9×5″ pan and one 8×4″ pan instead. Bake at 350 deg F for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Keep in mind that if you use pans of different sizes, like I did, the smaller one will be done faster. Enjoy!

Based on All Recipes’s Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.

Old recipe – Pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Pumpkin desserts are still acceptable after Halloween, right? Good because I have three cans of pumpkin puree in my cupboard and I’m planning to make some cookies this weekend. But before I try anything new I want to share my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe of all time. It had been a long time since I made them, but I whipped up a batch one weekend this month while watching the Gators lose a football game and I was reminded how much I love them. I pretty much follow the Taste of Home recipe, but replacing some of the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips was my own stroke of brilliance. It really puts these cookies over the top. And adding a few more spices besides just cinnamon helps too. As usual, I make these as cookie bars, but you can make drop cookies instead if you want. They are delicious either way!

1 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c pumpkin puree
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c quick-cooking oats
3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c butterscotch chips

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. You can use un electric mixer or just a wooden spoon some manpower. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and mix until combined. Add the flour and mix until almost combined. Fold in the oats, semisweet chips, and butterscotch chips and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Spread the dough into a 13×9″ pan lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray. Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!

Based on Taste of Home’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Foodie Friday – Pumpkin blondies (take 3)

Third time’s the charm with these pumpkin blondies? Actually, I think this is the fourth time I’ve tried making them, but the first batch was so bad that I chose to leave it out of the count. Back in 2011 I documented two of my attempts to make pumpkin blondies – one that was pretty standard and one with shredded coconut. Neither was exactly what I wanted so the search continued. Fast forward to last weekend when I cracked open a can of pumpkin puree to do some long-awaited fall baking while watching the Florida football game. The Gators lost, which was extremely disappointing, but my latest batch of pumpkin blondies turned out great! They were more cake-like than I would have liked, but that’s what you get when you bake with pumpkin. This recipe uses less pumpkin puree than others I’ve tried which I really liked, and browning the butter added an extra dimension of flavor. Delicious!

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 c pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 c all-purpose flour
2 c chocolate chips (I used a combination of semi-sweet and milk chocolate)

In a large bowl mix together the sugars and set aside. In a medium saucepan, brown the butter over medium heat. The butter will melt, bubble, and then start to foam. Shortly afterwards it will start to brown. This should only take about 5 minutes so keep an eye on the pan because the butter can burn quickly! When the butter is golden brown remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour over the sugar. Stir to combine and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Once the butter/sugar mixture has cooled, add the vanilla, egg, and pumpkin, and stir to combine. Then add the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine. Lastly, add the flour and stir until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter into a 9×13″ pan lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 deg F for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!

Based on The Art of Comfort Baking’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars.