Welp, it’s the last day of November and you know what that means, another season of foods containing pumpkin has ended. No more pumpkin cupcakes. No more pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, muffins, ravioli, pudding, nothing. It’s all over, until next year. It nearly brings a tear to my eye.
As I made my final pumpkin loaf of the season, I got to thinking about how the end of pumpkin season is kind of like the end of a good book series. Thinking beyond the Twilight(GAG ME) and Harry Potter(<3) series, there have been so many great book series that have come to a close, like The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
The morning after reading the final page in a book series always begs the question- now what? I had the same feeling this morning when I slathered the last piece of walnut pumpkin loaf with cream cheese and cinnamon. Now what? Now what do I bake? What can I inject into every recipe to make it seasonal? Peppermint? Cranberry? Foods all in the shape of a yule log? I’m so skeptical and confused.
As a kid, I followed the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket like I followed the Backstreet Boys, religiously. I just had to have the latest book in the series the day it came out. However, it got kind of awkward when book 10, The Slippery Slope was released because by then I was a freshman in high school. It’s not cool to be the book nerd in high school, let alone one who reads a kids series. But it was SO GOOD.
But just as Lemony Snicket continued to release books when the Unfortunate Events series ended, pumpkin season will too come again- in about 9 months. Gives me some time to birth some new recipe ideas.
Pumpkin Loaf Two Ways:
8 Ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 Cup of butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 Cups of white sugar
2 Cups of pumpkin puree
3 1/2 Cups of all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
1 Cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Cream together cream cheese and butter in an electric mixing bowl. Then add sugar and mix until fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs and once they are incorporated, add pumpkin puree.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Mix ingredients together until it just comes together.
- Divide batter equally in two bowls. In one bowl, mix in 1 cup chocolate chips.
- Grease two loaf pans. Pour the batter with the chocolate chips in one loaf pan and the plain one in another. On the plain pumpkin bread, sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top.
- Put into the oven and cook for one hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.