Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread!

Happy Weekend to all!

Weekends are a really precious commodity here in the realm of AmeriCorps employment. I'm so busy trying to get my hours during the week that, even if I (Emily) have time to cook or bake elaborately, I don't often have time to blog about it. But on a Saturday I have time to bake and blog and it's lovely.

This is a recipe I associate exclusively with autumn. I don't remember when my mom first started making it, but I was pretty young. When I acquired my own kitchen last fall, I asked her for the recipe and found, to my delight, that it was not her creation but my favorite preschool teacher's. I was a rather hyper child, but Harriet at the Richmond JCC totally understood me. She'd get me to follow her around on errands and stuff. My three-year-old memory has nothing but fond associations with her. And I don't think she'd mind me sharing this recipe with the world. So, without further adieu....

Harriet's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Note: I am giving all of these for a one-loaf batch, but the recipe my mom gave me actually makes two, so feel free to double this. I just don't want to take up more freezer space, so I made one loaf. It freezes beautifully though.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 TBS water
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I am lazy and use the canned stuff, but I'm sure if you use your own it'd be even better!)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (part whole wheat ok)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • about 1/2-1 cups chocolate chips (or mini chocolate chips)
You can also make this bread without the chocolate chips. Increase the spices and add 1/3 cup raisins and 1/2 cup walnuts, if you like.

  • Preheat the oven to about 300°F to 325°F. My oven's a bit wonky and I found 300 to be too low. More on this later.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together and add the oil, water, and pumpkin puree. Your mixture should look wonderfully orange.
  • Again, it says to mix all the dry ingredients separately, but I just throw them in with the wets. Either way, mix everything together. Taste a bit and add more spices if that seems wise.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips. The batter should be thick at this point.
  • Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for about 1 1/4 hours, until a knife comes out mostly clean. The chocolate chips will obviously get all over it. As I said, this is where it gets complicated. I found 1 1/4 hours on 300°F to be far from sufficient and ended up turning it up to 375°F or so. But experiment. I certainly wouldn't put it over 375, but it might be better to start it around 325 or 350, depending on the strength of your oven. These can also be made as muffins. One loaf should equal 12-18 muffins, depending how big you make them. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Let cool on a wire rack. Or, if you're like me, cut into it right away and get crumbs everywhere. It might turn out crumbly. That's ok. It still tastes awesome. Enjoy! And I highly recommend milk.

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