I’m very into the holidays this year. More than ever before. And I’m attributing this newfound festive spirit almost entirely to my sweet Lu.
Although she is completely unaware of the holiday magic glimmering all around her, I still feel like it’s my duty to embrace the season, crank up the Christmas music, decorate not one but two Christmas trees, and incorporate edible gourds into almost everything I cook.
Pom sent me this pumpkin bread recipe from The Bozeman Daily Chronicle. It’s a really good one. Simple and tender and makes the kitchen smell of butter and warming spices – just exactly as it should. It originally called for a “chocolate swirl” but I omitted the chocolate and added crystalized ginger instead. I also doubled the amount of pumpkin on accident, but my mistake turned out an even more flavorful, punched-up pumpkin loaf.
Holiday Ginger Pumpkin Bread
Makes one 9X5 inch loaf
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter the loaf pan.
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spices, divided (I used cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, chopped
Thoroughly combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl, beat the softened butter for minute or so using an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until well blended. Now whip in the pumpkin and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, beating just until thoroughly blended. Stir in the crystalized ginger.
Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour – check after 50 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack.
Slice and eat! And if after your fourth slice, you feel the need to mix things up a bit, you could toast a slice and slather on a little peanut butter. Just sayin.