I'm just a busy wife and mom who loves to cook (and hates to clean up afterward), balancing the many hats I wear and trying to look cool, calm, and collected while doing it...

Oh, and I rarely measure anything when I cook, so consider yourself warned. Love good food. Try new things. Eat to your heart's content.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

That Pumpkin Time of Year...

It's that time of year...

Pumpkin everything !

I'm not complaining at all. I LOVE me some pumpkin stuff, and look forward to this time of year when it's socially acceptable to make everything I eat with this favorite orange squash. A couple years ago I even tried it in a Penne Pasta dish. YUM!

But sometimes it's hard to find a really good recipe for pumpkin bread or muffins, because, lets face it, these recipes are about a dime a dozen right now, and you never know which are tried and true. It can be overwhelming, to say the least.

This recipe is one I came up with a couple years ago and have made many times. It works as both bread and muffins. I am also including the variations I've used, in case you want something a little different (or you're like me, you didn't have everything for the original recipe so I made this one to satisfy my pumpkin bread craving!)

This makes 2 dozen regular sized muffins, 4-5 mini loaves (depending on how big you want 'em), or 2 regular loaves.

I don't like chunks of fruit and stuff in mine usually, but you can definitely add cranberries, raisins, white or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, and/or whatever nuts or seeds you want.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

3 cups Self Rising Flour (Or 3 cups All Purpose Flour + 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder)

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves (Variation: 1 tsp Ground Allspice)

1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg (Variation: 1 Tbsp. Fresh Grated Ginger, but add it to the wet ingredients)

1 Stick of Butter, Softened

1 can Pumpkin Puree (NOT the pie mix!)

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (Variation: 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup + 1/3 cup Milk)

1/2 cup Oil

4 Eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Optional* 1/2-1 cup craisins, raisins, chocolate/white chocolate chips, nuts, etc... whatever combination you want, if you're into chunks of stuff in your bread...

Preheat oven to 350 and grease the loaf pans or muffin tins.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves or allspice, and nutmeg.
With an electric mixer, combine butter, pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk (or maple syrup+milk), oil, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. (Also fresh ginger, if you're using it.) Beat until well combined.
Slowly add the flour mixture, until combined, scraping down the sides of your bowl as needed.
Beat on medium-high speed for another minute or so.

Pour into your loaf pans/muffin tins.

For 2 dozen muffins, bake 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
For 4 mini loaf pans, bake 47-53 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.
For 2 regular sized loaf pans, bake 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

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