Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's October 1st! Let the merrymaking commence!

I love October! It's the month of all things pumpkin, leaves turning gorgeous hues and fluttering down like colorful snowflakes, spooky stories and best of all, Halloween.

So once again, I've invited authors to take part in a month-long celebration. Don't miss out! Check back every day.

If you're an author, a few dates are still open - waiting for you!

To kick things off, here's a delicious treat. :)

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Butter Cream
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (You can substituted light brown sugar)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (I left this out, too)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts, optional (I didn’t add the nuts to the batter, but sprinkled them on top of the frosted loaf instead)
Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined; set aside.
In another bowl, or bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium-high speed for two minutes or until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, mixing for about 2 minutes, then the granulated sugar, mixing for about 1 minute. Add the orange and lemon zests, if using, and beat for another minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
Drizzle in the canola oil with beater on medium-low. Reduce speed to low and add the pumpkin puree. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and blend for 10-15 seconds just until incorporated. Fold in the pecans using a rubber spatula.
Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons half & half or milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional, for sprinkling on top
Cream the butter, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and vanilla, blending well. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Add half & half or milk and blend well. NOTE: This makes a very thick butter cream frosting. If you want a thinner, creamier frosting, add more half & half or milk until you get the desired consistency.
You can top the frosted pumpkin loaf with chopped pecans or walnuts.