The weather changing, the leaves falling, cool nights, crisp mornings and the holidays getting closer really puts me in the mood to bake…
…even more than I usually am, which is pretty regular. So now, I want to bake, bake, bake. Lately, I have been wishing I could bake everyday! My current status (pregnant) has my appetite ravishing whether it is in my head or for real, so this makes it hard not to consume the entirety of whatever I bake. SO, the more I bake, the more I eat… a joy since I am trying not to gain too much beyond what I need to. But honestly, I was likely to eat whatever before I was pregnant, so maybe I just have a better excuse now than just plain old boring poor self-control. I may have to start taking baking orders so the goods go OUT of the house! But the good thing here is that I have been pretty busy trying to stay caught up at work that I have not had the time I need to bake a lot.
But since it is something that I enjoy, I am going to be trying new things, beyond my normal baking rotation… I have made regular pumpkin bread a few times already this season, and cookies are a regular staple coming out of the oven, and I made a pumpkin pie the other day… but I am ready to step it up a little bit. I already have my own standard (as prideful as it may be) to not buy cookies, pie shells, cake mixes, brownie mixes or ready-to-devour baked goods over the counter (over-the-counter? hmm, it just came whether it makes sense or not! ha ha). Whether they come from the store, or my own oven I know they are not among the healthiest things to eat, but I can make them healthier at home with substitutions or add healthier ingredients… but at a minimum stuff from my kitchen is without artificial products, stabilizers, dyes, etc. But anyways…
For this special treat I used some very special pans who were a gift from my wonderful late grandma. These small pans have housed numerous loaves of her famous bread. She could make some incredible bread that I would love love love a fresh slice of…
So you can imagine, no matter what the bread tasted like, they would still be good if you know what I mean!
So, yesterday I added some flair to the already delicious fall staple (pumpkin bread). My idea for stepping it up for the day was as you can tell… nothing too major but mainly just something different. A yummy twist at the least! I got the idea from a blog called “Annie’s Eats” and she got the idea from “Bakespace“, so I thought I would try it! The original recipe is intended for muffins… of which I thought about, but once I surveyed the kitchen for supplies, I only had 3 muffin liners left and going to the store was just going to happen for me at this time. It takes a lot for me to go to the local store (how terrible is that?) So I took the idea and made it into a yummy loaf… or several! 🙂 I ended up with 6 mini & 2 regular size loaves…
Here are the ingredients and brief directions:
So, now we know, you can make this recipe work for bread or muffins… just whatever fits your current fancy or supplies. But please note, this recipe makes about 2 regular sized loaves of bread… or ~ 24 muffins. I made two batches to get my goods (6 mini and 2 regular).
8 oz. cream cheese (softened) + around 1 cup of powdered sugar (a little less or a little more… however sweet you like it)
*marry the two until well combined and smooth then put in the fridge or freezer to firm up some so it is easier to work with
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* combine the above with a pastry knife/dough blender or whatever you call that thingy and put in the fridge until you are ready to top the bread
* oven 350°
3 cups flour (play around a little with types if you like, I added some whole wheat flour of course because I am fiber girl) ~1 tsp. ground cinnamon
~1 tsp. ground nutmeg
~1 tsp. ground cloves
~1 generous Tbsp. of the wonderful pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
* put the above into a large bowl, stir around and set aside
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar (I added less, but do what you want)
1 regular can of pumpkin or ~2 cups pumpkin puree if you have fresh
1¼ cups vegetable or canola oil (EVOO will give the bread a different taste)
* in a medium bowl, blend the above together and then stir in with the dry ingredients until just moistened
* to assemble the yummies, spread some batter in the bottom of your pan of choice (about 1/3 full) then dollop or stripe or something like that the cream cheese in. You can put a straight line, dots etc. then swirl it around a little bit or leave it alone. This is what I did, but next time I will add more and probably come up with a design in there so when it is cut there is something besides a blog in the middle….
Then top the rest with the batter… but before you put them in the oven, don’t forget to top with the sugary yummy topping!
My smaller loaves baked for about 30 minutes (I think), the muffins will take about 20-25 and the full size loaves I made took about 50 minutes… Then let them cool some on a wire rack, then take them out of the pan to finish cooling. The filling stays pretty hot, so it may be best to let them cool some to set up some.
I hope you try… and enjoy! 🙂 Happy Fall and Holiday baking… I will try and share more as I try new things!