It’s October! Well, I guess it’s been October for half a month now, but that’s beside the point. It was about time I got to some real fall baking and busted out the cans of pumpkin puree. When it came down to asking what pumpkin-y treats to make first, the choice was pretty much made for me by my insatiable family. There was no other option but a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread I had clipped out of the Betty Crocker Fall Baking Catalog (that’s the one with Bakerella on the cover, in case you didn’t know!). Sure, it’s not really a “bread” in the sense that it has no yeast, but it’s a moist and dense bread-like loaf cake and I think we should be able to call it whatever we want.

Wow, look at that big can of pumpkin! I didn’t use all of it in this bread, but that’s a story for another blog post. Also there shouldn’t be salt in that picture, but there should be eggs. My mistake.

After you set your oven to 350F, take a 9×5 loaf pan, or as close as you can get, and grease the bottom up. I didn’t have any real butter, so I had to use Pam. I don’t think anyone ever really notices though.

Toss a stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter into a bowl

And dump a whole cup of sugar on top

A cup of pumpkin goes right on top. Pumpkin is not the most pleasant smelling squash, but at least it tastes good when it’s all cooked up

After you’ve cracked in your two eggs, you’ll get this exciting and colorful mess. It’s about to get a lot messier though.

We were actually preparing two batches of pumpkin bread in two separate bowls! This one, as you can clearly see, we mixed with an electric hand beater. But we also tried mixing another one completely by hand to see if we got any different results in the texture.

But it proved to be quite difficult mixing by hand, we couldn’t get all the butter broken up

So we had to take the hand mixer to it anyway. It looks much more smooth now.

Add 2 cups of flour to your orange mush

1 teaspoon of baking soda

A heaping teaspoon of ground cinnamon

And a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin pie spice is made up of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, so you could really just toss a pinch of each in there if you don’t have any premixed. I love the contrast in the spice colors, baking is so beautiful!

The electric mixer will make all sorts of fun shapes in your bread dough

And this time we did manage to get an even blend with a plain wire whisk! They look pretty similar though, but who knows how they’ll bake.

Oh boy chocolate chips! A cup of mini-semisweets is a whole lot of chocolate chips, but I would like to think no one here has a problem with that

Look at that gorgeous dough. Halloween colors!

Dump the whole bowl into your loaf pan. Shake it out, scoop it out, whatever works! You might have to spin and bang the pan on the counter to get it even.

Pop your bread right into the oven where it will stay for 55-65 minutes! As a Wonder Baker Tip, always use the smallest of the recommended times, or even smaller if you think you have a real hot oven. Baked goods can always be put back into an oven, but once something is burned there’s not too much you can do.

Bread success! If your toothpick comes out clean, it’s done! I really love that crack in the top

And look at those fine crusty sides. If they’re a browner than the top or bottom, that’s nothing to fear.

Inside is a chocolate chip minefield! We cut both loaves open and found that the one mixed with the whisk didn’t rise quite as much as the one baked with the electric mixer, but other than that there was really no textural difference. The taste was truly fantastic with the pumpkin pie spice adding a great spicy punch that didn’t get overpowered by the chocolate. My dad’s serving recommendation is to pop the loaf in the freezer and let it sit for just a few minutes before slicing and enjoying. Though it’s great at any temperature, especially with a pumpkin spice espresso!

Oh, wondering about those cookies in the background there? Well stay tuned, for fall has only just begun and there are more fantastic pumpkin treats to come!

Happy Eating!

Pumpkin chocolate Chip Bread

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom only of 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin.
3. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
4. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts if you’ve got ’em
5. Spread in pan
6. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack, then let cool completely, about 2 hours

The recipe also included this optional glaze!

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of powedered sugar and 2-3 teaspoons of milk or heavy whipping cream until smooth, then drizzle over cooled loaf. Let the glaze set up (about 30 minutes) before slicing.

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