Baking in Ben's apartment is both fun and frustrating. Fun because I have someone in the kitchen with me, to talk and stir and crack the eggs. Frustrating because things that I take for granted in my kitchen, like brown sugar, baking soda and vanilla extract, are never in his kitchen. And I always forget that. So making something spur of the moment never happens without a trip to our local Jewel Osco.
(Look, Ma! No cuts!)
And I was going to MacGyver some vanilla extract by using french vanilla coffee creamer, but then I discovered it was actually hazelnut flavored and I admit it, I balked.
Yet, despite all of this and despite the fact that after making a trip to the grocery store for vanilla and baking soda, and then forgetting to buy vanilla, followed by also forgetting to add the baking soda we had just bought to the batter, we still managed to make 2 decent pumpkin loafs. Maybe a little dense, but we did forget baking soda, so the fact that they rose at all is pretty exciting in and of itself. Ben's mom sent us the recipe and I'm not sure where she got it from. We're not even sure if she had tried it or not yet. Ben's grandpa and aunts were our guinea pigs, and they may have just been acting polite, but I got pretty good reviews (and the pumpkin bread did too, haha). It's a good way to welcome fall, which if you haven't noticed has been knocking on your door for at least a week now.
Spiced Pumpkin Loaf
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Stir in pumpkin. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until bread tests done. I didn 't have 2 loaf pans so I poured the batter into a Bundt pan. I had to bake it at 350 for an hour and twenty minutes.
Ben's Mom's Note (Which I did not follow because, alas, Ben does not have wax paper or parchment paper....surprise, surprise): I lined the greased pan with wax paper. Line the bottom and sides of loaf pan with wax paper. You want to leave about 4 inches of overhang on the 2 opposite sides. These serve as your handles to remove the bread from the pan in 1 piece, so make sure that there is enough of the overhang for you to have a solid grip.