Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pumpkin Gingerbread

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Every Christmas, my mom and I (and sometimes my sister) would bake and bake and bake. We'd scoop and cut and slice probably hundreds of cookies and sweet breads, and, thanks to our benevolent taste testers who would die before we delivered any less-than-perfect treats to our neighbors, we ended the whole project with just barely enough to go around. My mom would sweetly scoot us kids out the door, reminding us to smile and sing loud enough for our old neighbors to hear, and off we went! My favorite house was right next door, at Reverend Fred Donaldson, or "The Rev" as his license plate said. He was a giant of a man, was missing part of one finger on his left hand and always sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" right back to us in his booming choir voice.

I know it's a little past Christmas and pumpkin season now, but this has gotta be one of my absolute favorite sweet breads. There's nothing like the smell of pumpkin and ginger baking in a hot oven to warm up your home and singing voice!

Pumpkin Gingerbread [click to print]
Makes 1 loaf

1 c sugar
1/2 butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 c molasses
1 c. pumpkin puree
1-3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (OR 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Combine sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add molasses and pumpkin; mix until blended. Add dry ingredients in about 3 additions, scraping, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Mix until blended.

Coat loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes. Reduce heat by 25 degrees if using glass loaf pan.

Source: Adapted from AllRecipes

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