Sunday, September 18, 2011

Best Pumpkin Bread Ever

I embraced fall today. Oh boy, did I! I LOVE this time of year… crisp, cool air outside, windows open, chili in the crockpot, pumpkin candle lit, hubs watching football, building forts with the littlest, crafting and… PUMPKIN BREAD!! It gets me so giddy :)

This morning I decided to take a walk with Amelie to the grocery store to grab some produce and a few cans of pumpkin. You don't even know how disappointed I was when they told me they didn't have ANY. Seriously? And the lady even told me that they wouldn't have it until Oct 1. I'm sorry nice Kroger lady, but I really don't believe you. And if that's right, then I'll take my business to the publix to get my pumpkin NOW. But today I really wasn't feeling like driving all the way to the publix to get a can of pumpkin. My fabulous friend Maggie came to the rescue and dropped a can off at our place and she seriously saved the day! I've learned my lesson… always be stocked with pumpkin puree. Always.

I've made a lot of pumpkin bread. It always comes out super yummy, but today I changed a few things around to make it a little healthy (and just because it's fun to change things up and experiement). This bread was my ALL TIME FAVORITE to date! I got it from my little Nestle cookbook, but here is my revised version of that recipe:

Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 1 hr Cooling Time: 30 mins cooling 

Servings: 24 slices (12 slices per loaf)

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
3 cups organic granulated sugar 
1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) 
4 large eggs 
1 cup applesauce (no sugar added)
1/2 cup orange juice or applejuice (water will do, but this adds a little 'bam!') 
1 cup sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries (I only had a half cup of fresh, so I used half fresh and half dried)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. (I used a bundt pan)

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Recipe makes two loaves or 1 large bundt.

FOR THREE 8 x 4-INCH LOAF PANS:PREPARE as above. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. 


PREPARE as above. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.

We had our friend Sara over for dinner and her and I both decided that the bread would be good with some sort of cream cheese something on it, so last minute, I whipped up a delicious topping to go on it! 

Cream cheese topping:

1pkg (8oz) cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar (less or more to your liking)

Cream butter and cream cheese together, slowly add powdered sugar until it tastes super yummy! Spread all over the delish pumpkin bread and enjoy :)

As my mom would say, "Happy Fall, Y'all!"

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