Monthly Archives: October 2014

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I know, I know, everything is pumpkin this time of year. But fall really is my favorite season and pumpkin plays a big role in that. Unfortunately we don’t have much of a New England style fall here in the southern US, and I greatly miss the gorgeous foliage and crisp fall air, but I can infuse some autumn atmosphere into my life with pumpkin goodness. And this Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread sure does bring goodness!

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This is my first chance to join in with the “What’s Baking” group and the theme for the month was pumpkin. Can you tell I was disappointed? Ha. I was super excited because I absolutely love baking with pumpkin. I buy cans and cans of pumpkin puree each fall and try to test out a few new recipes each year. My first for this year was this pumpkin bread. I’ve made different pumpkin breads before but this one just takes the cake. This recipe is adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book so I was pretty sure it was going to be a winner and it did not disappoint. The streusel topping to the bread lends a surprising and delightful texture and crunch. The cream cheese and buttermilk make this cake moist and counteract the sometimes metallic taste you can get from pumpkin baked goods after using canned pumpkin puree. Perfection!

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This recipe made two glorious loaves of pumpkin bread. I brought one to work and it was devoured rather quickly. Comments included “other worldly” and “two enthusiastic thumbs up.” Yes folks, I’m not making these reviews up. So you have got to try this recipe this pumpkin season. And I sure do hope to share some more pumpkin treats with you…if my colleagues don’t eat them all before I get photos!

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

______________________________

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book)

Yield: 2 loaves

For the topping:

5 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the bread:

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 15 ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

4 ounces cream cheese (low-fat works fine), cut into 12 pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

¼ cup buttermilk

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl. Work together with your fingers until the consistency is like coarse sand. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 2 loaf pans (9×5-inch) with nonstick spray.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened and reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese, sugars, and oil. Stir slightly to start the cream cheese melting, then let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs and buttermilk together in a bowl, then stir into the pumpkin mixture. Fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and whisk until all the ingredients are combined and the consistency is homogenous.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle the topping over each loaf.
  8. Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (may have some melted chocolate), about 45-50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool for another hour.

______________________________

If you love pumpkin like I do, find more pumpkin recipes on the Dinner Pages! Happy fall!

 

What's Baking Badge

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake (Wild Huckleberry Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake)

homebaker1

As my readers know, I participate in the Home Bakers group (when time allows) and we are cooking our way through the book Coffee Cakes, with a different blogger hosting each month. Well this month it’s my turn to host, so I am excited to share with you the recipe of the month, Wild Huckleberry-Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

So why, might you ask, is this recipe titled Apple Streusel Coffee Cake? Easy answer. I have no idea where to find a huckleberry around here and honestly it’s the fall and blueberries and raspberries just aren’t really in season anymore and apples are delicious and abundant. I modified the original recipe to allow for apples, but I’ll share the original recipe here too in case you happen to have a supply of huckleberries.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Regardless of the fruit, this cake is really amazing! The cake is moist and light and contrasts beautifully with the crunchy streusel topping. I brought it into to work for another brunch potluck and it was gone before lunch! And my family was quite jealous that I baked such a delicious cake to bring to work instead of share with them.

The main difference between the original recipe and my apple version was that I actually cooked the apples before adding to the batter which isn’t necessary for berries. I just wanted to make sure the apples wouldn’t be too crisp after baking. If you enjoy sauteed apples, that part of the recipe stands alone perfectly. You can adjust the spices a bit and serve it as a side dish or dessert.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Feel free to check out everyone else’s interpretations of this recipe at the Home Bakers site. And don’t forget to come back to The Dinner Pages soon for another delightful fall recipe to add to your repertoire.

______________________________

Wild Huckleberry-Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 8)

For the cake

nonstick cooking spray

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups fresh wild huckleberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, raspberries, red currants, or pitted sour cherries

For the streusel topping

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, plus 10 pecan or walnut halves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray (or butter and flour the pan).

2. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest and beat well.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, starting and ending with dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Stir in the berries. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pie pan.

4. Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, the cut in the butter and crumble the mixture between your fingers until it looks like coarse sand, then stir in the chopped nuts. Sprinkle over the batter and top with the nut halves.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

______________________________

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 8)

For the cake

nonstick cooking spray

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, divided

2 large crisp apples (I used Jonagold)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

For the streusel topping

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, plus 10 pecan or walnut halves

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray (or butter and flour the pan).

2. Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter into a large deep skillet over medium heat. Then add the apples, coat with butter, turn the heat to low, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, add the brown sugar and cinnamon and raise the heat back to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and glazed, for about 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, starting and ending with dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Stir in the apples. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pie pan.

5. Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, the cut in the butter and crumble the mixture between your fingers until it looks like coarse sand, then stir in the chopped nuts. Sprinkle over the batter and top with the nut halves.

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Then cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

______________________________

Read more about coffee cakes on The Dinner Pages…

%d bloggers like this: