This week’s Baked Sunday Mornings post is for Pumpkin Seed Brittle. I think it’s a bit of an understatement to say that I hate brittle. I used to go apple picking with my family in the Ohio countryside, and every year they would hand out samples of peanut brittle and apple cider. Enamored with fall, hay rides, and lazy afternoons with my family, I took the proffered samples with delight, nostalgia blinding me to the fact that though I adore apple cider, I actually loath peanut brittle. I lived through that re-discovery for almost every year of my childhood. Similar to how my husband and I manage to think that it’s a great idea to buy candy corn every Halloween, only to quickly remember upon opening the package that candy corn is horrible. Though I had no desire to attempy making a brittle that would go uneaten in my household, I still wanted to make something, and preferably something deliciously pumpkin flavored. I remembered Bourbonnatrix posting the recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. It sounded like a winner.
Bonus, I would get to try out the cinnamon chips I found at the grocery store last week. I’ve actually been looking for cinnamon chips since I heard of their existence last Christmas, listed as an ingredient in a scone recipe. I am crazy for cinnamon and was determined to find them, unfortunately with no luck until now. They are very tasty, kind of like white chocolate chips in texture with a lot of cinnamon flavor. I also added some ginger chips and pecans. Ginger chips are one of my favorite baking ingredients. When I first bought them I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they’re basically tiny chips of candied ginger. They add an amazing spicy crunch to recipes, great in scones, sweet breads and muffins.
I make pumpkin bread every year, using the recipe that my grandmother sent me when I was homesick in college. I am constantly tinkering with the recipe. I’ve tried whole wheat flour, used honey instead of sugar, added three times the amount of cinnamon, used different kinds of nuts. And I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with the results. The Baked version is fairly similar, and equally delicious. It is very easy to put together. It does have a very long baking time, nearly an hour and a half, but your house will smell amazing while it is in the oven, and most of the day afterwards. It is quite sweet, and very moist. I also think it’s even better now, a day later, becoming even more fragrant and moist.
I’m glad it came out so well, because I’m sure we’ll be enjoying it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if (when) Sandy knocks out our power this week.
On a side note-I think I accidentally typed pumpking every single time I wrote pumpkin in this post. Freudian slip about how much I love pumpkin?
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (a 15-ounce can)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (12 ounces) semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and oil until combined. Add sugar and whisk again. Whisk in the eggs one at a time then the vanilla. Add 2/3 cup room-temperature water and whisk to until combined. Fold the chocolate chips into the wet ingredients with rubber spatula.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix the batter. Spread the batter into the prepared pans, and gently knock the bottom of the pan onto the countertop to even out the batter. Use a spatula to smooth the top.
Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 75 to 90 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before inverting the loaf onto the rack to cool completely before serving. The loaf will keep for 3 days or more wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature.