Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Breads--variations on a theme

A spatula is a cheapskate's best friend. A husband and a 3-year-old help too. Very little gets wasted.

These make great muffins too.
Makes 2 loaves or 24 large muffins.

3 3/4 C flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1 C butter (softened or melted)
2 C sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C pumpkin
1 bag chocolate chips (optional, unless you're in my family in which case they're mandatory)

-In medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
-In large bowl, cream butter and sugar.
-Add eggs to butter/sugar.
-Add part of dry ingredients, then add pumpkin, then add remaining dry ingredients. Mix till incorporated, but don't mix it to death. Add chocolate chips.
-Bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes. Check it early. Overcooked bread is dry bread.

This bread is awesome as is, but if you're feeling energetic, you can glaze it with this:

1 C powdered sugar
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon
dash cloves
1/4 C HOT water

Mix it all together and drizzle over bread. I've done this once and it was yummy, but it's yummy without it too and I'm lazy so I haven't done it since then.

And now for the variation on the theme.

I wanted it guilt-free for breakfast, so I healthified it. Apparently, I can't help myself.

2 C white flour
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
3/4 C butter (softened or melted)
1 C sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C pumpkin
chocolate chips

Prepare as above. Note: With less sugar, the spicy taste comes out more. If you love spices, that's great, but you might want to scale them back just a tinge if you think they'll be overwhelming.

And the verdict:
The healthy was good, but I love the original so much that I knew what I was missing with the healthy, lower sugar variety. And as a note, I often adapt my original less drastically by adding 1 C of whole wheat in place of some of the white and scaling back the sugar just a tinge--by about 1/4 C. It's not quite as healthy, but it tastes just as good as the original. So if you're dedicated to health and long life and all that stuff, go for the healthiest version. If you're going to a party or giving it as a gift, go for the regular version. And if you want to pretend that you're eating healthy without making a drastic shift to do so, then I think we're in the same camp. Cheers.

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