Fall Has Arrived – Pumpkin Style!

Well it is officially Fall! Get ready for holiday foods, winter boots, family get togethers and…. of course pumpkin products at almost every grocery store! I’ve never baked pumpkin bread before and decided to give it a go the other day since I remembered I had a can of pumpkin purée in my pantry from the time I attempted (but did not execute very well) pumpkin cinnamon rolls. All the other ingredients in pumpkin bread are pretty much staple products most frequent bakers would have. You can find this original recipe at: cupcakesforbreakfast.com


I’m happy to report that my first attempt at pumpkin bread turned out amazing. I heard great reviews from family members and coworkers. I baked two loaves and 6 muffins. The only thing I’d do differently next time is to wait a little longer for the bread to cool so the powdered sugar doesn’t melt. I sprinkled it on the top of the bread and muffins a bit too early, so next time I’ll be more patient, and wait a bit longer. I really love this recipe because the bread is not too sweet, it’s subtle and so it the pumpkin flavor. You know it’s pumpkin bread but the taste is not overwhelming artificial (you know what I’m talking about). Also, this bread came out so moist! Oh my goodness, it taste so delicious. It was hard for me to give it away, but it’s important to share the wealth (and get others peoples opinions). Here is the recipe, enjoy and share it with the people you love.

Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
Bake time 60 min
Oven Temp 350 degrees

3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of nutmeg & cinnamon)
1 (16oz) can of pumpkin purée
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs

Line both pans with parchment paper or coat with cookie spray or butter. I greased the bottom of the loaf pans with butter and then put parchment paper on top. With the muffins I just greased it with butter.
First in a bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and pie spice). If you don’t have a sifter you can always use a whisk to get the lumps out. Set this bowl aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Then in a large mixing bowl add in all the wet ingredients. In no specific order. I think I added the purée first and the eggs last. Mix together with mixer or use spoon however if you use a spoon make sure all the ingredients marry together. Once all the wet ingredients are fully mixed together, go ahead and add in the dry ingredients 1/2 a cup at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm the mixture with too much flour too quickly. Once you have added in all dry ingredients, and mixture is well combined you can pour into two separate loaf pans. Or in my case 2 loaf pans and a 6 tray muffin pan. I made muffins for myself because it’s quicker in the morning to grab a muffin rather than cut into a loaf. Not much quicker but when you wake up at 5am and have to be out the door by 6:15-6:30am it’s just easier to grab and go rather than cut, grab and go… You get my drift. 🙂

Anyways, bake loaves for 60 min, check on it 45 min to see the progress. After 60 min stick fork in the middle of the loaf and if it comes out clean, it’s done! The muffins only took 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 25-30 minutes then sprinkle powdered sugar on top… So delicious. Eat and enjoy my friend, watch out though because this is a crowd pleaser!photo 2

Not Your Granny’s Peach Cobbler

Sliced Peaches

This recipe is from a family friend who made this version of peach cobbler at our Easter family gathering. When I tried it, my mouth was instantly surprised by the different texture of the crust or what I thought was crust. It almost tasted like a graham cracker crust on top of the peaches. I had to get the recipe, it was delicious, and paired well with vanilla ice cream (because who eats peach cobbler without vanilla ice cream, right?). So, without delay, the big secret to this recipe was not graham crackers, it is yellow cake mix! Yes, I know what you’re thinking, who puts yellow cake mix in with a dessert that usually involved dough and crust. Well, I tried it, and LOVED IT! I hope you, your friends or family can enjoy it to. I moderated the recipe for a smaller size pan, I used a 9×9 square pan.

What You’ll Need: 

3 small peaches

2 cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup

1 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines brand)

1/2 cup of melted butter (I used Earth Balance, it is a vegan butter, GMO and gluten free)

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Instructions: 

First, slice the fresh peaches then combine them with the canned peaches with the heavy syrup into the baking pan.

 I mix all the peaches up a bit with a mixing spoon so that the fresh peaches are  covered in the syrup.

Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Then mix the spices and peaches together.

Now, you can cover the peaches with the yellow cake mix, I used about 3/4 of the bag because I was using a smaller pan. You want the peaches to be covered by a thin-medium layer of cake mix.

Melt a 1/2 cup of Earth Balance butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds

Evenly pour the butter on top of the cake mix

You can gently mix the butter around with the cake mix, but not too much because you want the cake mix to stay on top of the peaches

Peach Cobbler step 2      Peach Cobbler step 3     Peach Cobbler step 4

Then preheat the oven to 365 degree, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes

After 30 minutes, I took my pan out and used a fork to poke through the parts of the cake mix that were a little clumpy. You want to be sure the cake mix is cooking right, and not sitting powder

Put back in the over for 15 – 20 more minutes

When you take it out, the top should look medium brown

Serve with vanilla ice cream, and prepare to be surprised by how yummy this unlikely combo is

Peach Cobbler Final   photo 2-1   photo 1-2

 

 

Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I recently asked my grandmother for her chocolate chip cookies recipe, because every time I go over to her house she is baking something amazing. I particularly remember her chocolate chip cookies w/ walnuts. She knew the exactly how to cook them so they were gooey and delicious. Since she’ve given me her recipe I have made a few alternations mainly to make the recipe a little healthier.

What You’ll Need:

2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (I use Josephine’s whole wheat baking flour from Trader Joe’s, can also use gluten free flour)

1 cup of organic brown sugar

1/2 cup organic sugar (can also use organic coconut sugar for healthier alternative)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter (You can also use coconut oil instead of butter, equal parts)

1 pack of semi sweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s brand chocolate chips, they are gluten free)

1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

 Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients

Instructions:

In a mixer or bowl (you don’t need a mixer for this recipe) mix together the whole wheat flour, organic coconut sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla, 1 whole pack of chocolate chips, and walnuts.

Crack 2 eggs in same own over ingredients

In a separate bowl melt the butter in the microwave for 20 – 30 seconds

Pour butter in bowl with the rest of the cookie ingredients

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Bake for 12-15 minutes *Keep an eye on cookies after 10 minutes of baking, they can burn easily so be careful. You’ll know they are done when the edges of the cookies are slightly darker*

Serve and Enjoy!

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