Happy New Year!  I can hardly believe it’s already 2011.  I hope everyone enjoyed themselves…I know I did!  3 day weekends are just heavenly–and I would have loved mine a bit more if I hadn’t woken up to a cold the other day.  That aside!  I’m sure we all have general ideas of goals we’d like to achieve this year.  I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been all too serious about any resolution I’ve ever made, but this year seems rather important.  I’m getting married in the fall of 2012–which doesn’t give me a whole lot of time to get into the physical shape I want to get in (well, considering the fact that I’d like to keep this blog up and running with baked goods). I guess that means I’ll just have to give away more.  I guess, I could also try to make a handful of healthy items. Ehh, we’ll see.

Okay, onward to all things yummy.  I know that the holidays are over and people tend to ignore pumpkin for the October rolls around again…BUT I adore pumpkin. Not only is it scrumptious–it’s also very, very forgiving.  Cut a little bit of sugar here and there, accidentally leave the dessert in the oven for a few minutes longer than expected and you know what?  It’s nearly perfect anyway.

This year for Christmas, I decided to give all of Mike’s aunts and uncles some baked goods–something loafy that would package well.   They’re not huge of anything overly sweet (although I think they secretly like cream cheese frosting), so I ruled out anything that would need glaze.  After taking a look in my pantry and fridge, decided on the Elvis Presley Pound cake I made earlier in the month and this pumpkin walnut bread.

This pumpkin walnut bread–it’s amazing.  It’s perfect.  Not too pumpkin-y, but wonderfully spiced.  The bread is wonderfully moist and keeps well for days.  Mike’s aunt called me a few days later just to tell me how much she liked it and asked me for the recipe.  This bread got rave reviews across the board.  I will make this again and soon.  Pumpkin should be seasonless.

Oh–and here’s a note when you’re testing for doneness:  If you insert a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out slightly damp—it’s okay as long as the rest of the bread is cooked.  You don’t want to burn the bread waiting for the center to cook.  Since you are leaving the bread in the hot pans for 15-30 minutes, the bread will continue to cook.  And it will be perfect.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Ingredients

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1 cup of walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Add nuts and stir in well.  Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 40-50 minutes.  Bread is done, when toothpick inserted in middle of the loaf comes out relatively clean (remember note above).
  4. Remove from oven. Allow bread to rest in pans for 15-30 minutes.  Remove and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy! Tastes even better the next day!

I found the recipe in an old binder I had in college.  Where this came from…I have no idea!

 

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