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Pumpkin Bread

Anyone who isn’t a fan of banana bread ought to give pumpkin bread a try.  It’s easy to make since it doesn’t require proofing like regular bread, it’s a good source of potassium that is not too short of what a banana provides, and right now, pumpkin is locally in season.  This recipe makes enough for six small loafs, ideal for spreading the pumpkin love with family, friends, and coworkers.

pumpkin bread

pumpkin bread

Makes 6 small loafs (5 1/2″-ish by 3″-ish by 2″-ish)

3 cups of all-purpose flour

2 3/4 cups of vanilla’d sugar

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1 cup of melted butter or canola oil (use butter for richer bread, but oil will keep it more tender for longer)

4 large eggs

1/2 cup of water

2 tsp. of baking soda

2 tsp. of ground ginger

2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of ground nutmeg

always mix wet and dry ingredients separately when prepping

always mix wet and dry ingredients separately when prepping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, and nutmeg in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix the melted butter (or oil) and sugar with a hand mixer until well combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until smooth.  Quickly and fully mix in the vanilla extract and the pumpkin puree , then briskly mix in the water to combine.

batter

batter up

Add the sifted flour to the wet ingredients and keep mixing with the hand mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to get all the ingredients together.

perfectly portioned batter

perfectly portioned batter

Spray six “1 lb” loaf tins with nonstick spray.  The simplest way to divide the batter is with an ice cream scoop.  Place the tins on a sheet pan for ease of transferring to and from the oven.  Bake for 52-56 minutes.  Let cool completely before depanning.

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Shipyard Brewing Co. Smashed Pumpkin Ale

(Always drink responsibly.  Seek help when alcohol affects your life and the lives of those around you.  For readers of a legal drinking age.)

smashed pumpkin

smashed pumpkin

Shipyard Brewing Co. is coming up on its 20th year, and for the last four years, the seasonal Smashed Pumpkin Ale has delighted the palates of many.  It is pleasing to the eye for is gorgeous golden hue, the nose for the aroma of spiced pumpkin pie, and the tongue for the taste… oh, the taste.  Let me preface by saying that I am not a big pumpkin fan.  Sure, I’ll have a slice or two at the holidays, but you’ll never find me in line for a pumpkin coffee concoction.  This beer, though, is something special and I am fiercely impressed.  At 9% ABV and 28 IBU, it is heady but not so dense that it throws off the flavor.  The sweet and earthy pumpkin and nutmeg combination, ubiquitous at this point in the year, is very well balanced by the mild hops and malts – it definitely tastes like beer, but with the most pleasant addition of the essence of pumpkin pie.  I will still never, ever go out for a pumpkin coffee, but I will look for this beer now, every October.  If you are a pumpkin fanatic, you would be out of your gourd not to try this beer.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pecan Blondies

A blondie is a brownie without chocolate, and it gives the baker an opportunity to add other ingredients that might otherwise be buried by the dark richness of chocolate.  To wrap up a run of experimenting with homemade pumpkin puree, Chef Zach thought to put the puree towards blondies, with butterscotch for a decadent sweetness and pecans for texture and earthiness.  These smelled absolutely to-die-for as they were baking, filling the house with luxurious aroma.  Eat them straight up, or serve them warm with a scoop of pecan praline ice cream for a supremely tasty dessert.

pumpkin butterscotch pecan blondies

pumpkin butterscotch pecan blondies

Makes 1-24, depending on how you cut them

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of butterscotch chips

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of melted butter at room temperature

1 cup of pecan halves

1/2 cup of vanilla’d sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 tsp. of baking soda

1 tsp. of ground cinnamon

1 tsp. of ground ginger

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg

melted butter and sugars

melted butter and sugars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Liberally coat the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ glass baking dish or 12″x17″ sheet pan with nonstick spray (smaller glass pan for cake-like blondies; larger sheet pan for chewier blondies).  Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and nutmeg. Mix the melted butter and sugars until combined in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.

with pumpkin, egg, and vanilla

with pumpkin, egg, and vanilla

Add the egg to the liquid mix and stir to fully incorporate.  Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract, mix until well blended, and add the dry mix to the liquid mix in the liquid’s bowl; if using a stand mixer, do not go above speed 3 (low-medium).

folded, finished batter

folded, finished batter

Mix fully and well, then fold in the butterscotch chips and pecans.

spread

spread

Spread the mix evenly in the greased baking dish or sheet pan.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center, and it should come out clean with no raw batter (but little crumbs are okay).  Wait at least 3 hours before cutting.