'Tis the Season...

...for pumpkin EVERYTHING!! 

Happy Sunday everyone! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is this week? 2017 has flown by like nobody's business, "to borrow the colloquialism." 😉 (FYI, if AIO is unknown to you, you're missing out on a very important part of your life.)

SIDE NOTE: You remember what else Thanksgiving means? Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales of course!! So be watching social media and the website for some awesome deals! I may pop in before next Sunday myself. 😊

Anywhooo...  in light of the holiday and all that it entails, I was compelled to share one of my favorite things with you all: PUMPKIN RECIPES!! Seriously, I could have something pumpkin flavored (a muffin, cookie, piece of pie, ice cream scoop, bowl of cereal, piece of cheesecake, you name it) every single day for the rest of my life. Pumpkin-flavored everything is my most favorite dessert, ever - in case you haven't figured it out yet. Haha.

When I was still in high school, I was introduced to a dessert I had no idea would become such a huge part of my life: Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.

photo credits: allrecipes.com

(photo credit: allrecipes.com)

Let me tell you, folks. This stuff is amazing. And you can make TONS of it at a time and freeze it! Pumpkin bread for days... Just FYI - it's probably not on your diet. But hey... moderation in all things.

This recipe is straight from All Recipes. But, I'll go ahead and give my version of it. 😊

So, I've used this recipe during the holiday season since I was 15, and it's been a huge success. I've made it into bread loaves and muffins; added milk chocolate, semi-sweet, white chocolate, and cinnamon chips at different times. You can do so many things with this recipe - I love it!

(photo credits: moi)

My personal favorite would either be muffins made with a mix of milk chocolate and white chocolate chips, or muffins with white chocolate and cinnamon chips. The white chocolate is amazing in this bread because it seems to just completely soak in. Goodness, now I don't know if I can wait until Wednesday to bake!

This recipe will make three (3) 8x3 loaf pans, or about 2.5 dozen muffins (if I remember correctly...)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

So, I play around with the spices a lot... Cinnamon is a MUST + one of the other spices. I've used only cinnamon and nutmeg before, or just left out the ginger... Whatever you have is fine, even pumpkin spice mix. It's really to your tastes.

Of course, there are several optional ingredients: different kinds of chocolate chips, nuts, cinnamon chips, etc.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). NOTE: Temperature may need to be adjusted if using something other than aluminum bakeware.
  2. Grease & flour loaf or muffin pan(s). Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar. I usually use a whisk.
  4. In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add carefully into pumpkin mix. Stir until just blended.
  5. If using other ingredients (chips, nuts), add to your hearts content, then mix in. 
  6. Pour into prepared pans.
  7. If baking bread, bake for approximately 50 minutes. If baking muffins, it's usually about 20 minutes. Times obviously vary with types of baking dishes and the oven. To check, insert toothpick into the center of the break - it should come out clean. 

At this point, I usually let the pans cool, then cover and seal them with aluminum foil, letting the bread set overnight. It's still yummy out of the oven, but about 10x as yummy the next morning! All the goodness just soaks in overnight. 😊

So, the other recipe I want to share is brand new to me. I used it for the first time this week, and it was a hit!

This recipe is for pumpkin muffins, but because I was doing them in bulk for a youth Thanksgiving dinner, and because I only have one muffin pan (I know...really.), I decided to make them into pumpkin bars. I just baked them on cookie sheets!

These have a completely different texture than the pumpkin bread. They are much lighter, fluffier, and (believe it or not) moister! You can find the original recipe HERE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (I used butter....haha)
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk (2% milk is fine as well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease with nonstick spray (or, grease and flour a cookie sheet, like me!) Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil (BUTTER! ha), milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold to combine.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan (or spread onto cookie sheet).
  5. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan (or before cutting into bars). Serve.

(photo credits: moi)

Let me know if you try either of these recipes!! 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Among the rush to not burn the turkey or the rolls, remember that we've all got an awful lot to be thankful for!

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