I am well aware that I am far from the only one out there to love pumpkin. The majority of my friends wait year-round for the Octoberfests and pumpkin ales to pop up in the bodegas and pubs. We love the pumpkin lattes at starbucks. We can’t wait for the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Pumpkin and black bean soup is on the dinner roster. And there are those cute little mallow pumpkins that, although I know I should hate, I absolutely love. I know I am not even remotely unique in this seasonal pumpkin fascination, but I don’t care, I’ll be a lemming. And I can’t think of a better way to start off pumpkin madness that with the awesome loaf.
This loaf is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe and believe me, I’ve tried a few. It is perfect in every way; crisp and caramelized on the outside, moist on the inside, sweet but not too sweet, with just enough aromatic spices without being overwhelming. And then you add chocolate chips, because…you just do. Der.
I developed such an unexpected craving for this bad boy this weekend that nothing could stop me from making it. Not the fact that I had to go to 3 different grocery stores to find pumpkin (grr, Queens). Or the fact that the third grocery store only had pumpkin pie filling (GRRRR, Queens). Not the fact that I could only find regular-sized chocolate chips, as opposed to the mini ones that work better in this recipe (GRRRRR, EVERYTHING). And certainly not because midway into beginning to bake, I realized I was virtually out of granulated sugar (GRR, CALI). WTF!?!?
So were 5 trips to 3 different grocery stores in a 2 hour period worth it? Oh heeeeelllll yes. I love this stuff! I clearly ended up with a slightly different product this time than I have in the past (sweeter, more chocolate), but it was delicious none-the-less. I think this bread might actually be unbreakable. Even more awesome is that this loaf reacts really really well when I substitute half the oil for apple-sauce (a girl’s gotta watch her back….side :)). The substitution doesn’t affect the texture or moistness at all, and allows me to consume much more pumpkin than is probably advisable. I’m surprised every year when December rolls around and I haven’t yet turned orange. So cheers-here’s to the start of pumpkin season, bring on the the pumpkin ale!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
Adapted from Bon Appetit; Makes 2 large or 4-5 mini-loaves
So, you should be using pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling; otherwise things will be too sweet and the spices off. I prefer mini chocolate chips as I like the way they distribute within the loaf. I love my Kitchenaid, but I didn’t use it for this recipe- all you need is a wooden spoon. These freeze well, so you can save the second loaf or the other 2 mini loafs for another time…like tomorrow. Finally, the outside of the loaf will seem quite dark when done. Don’t worry, it’s not at all burnt, it’s just caramelized. You want this, I promise.
3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. applesauce (unsweetened)
3 lg eggs
1 16-oz can solid pack pumpkin
3 c. all purpose flour
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350°F and grease 2 9x5x3″ loaf pans or 4-5 mini loaf pans
- In a large bowl, stir sugar, oil, and applesauce until combined
- Beat in eggs and pumpkin
- In separate medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients
- In two additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet; do not over-mix
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Divide batter into prepared pans and bake until wooden tester comes out clean (about 70 min for large loaves or 45-50 min for small loaves)
- Let cool 10 min then loosen the edges with a knife before removing from pans and cooling completely