Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

More quickbread!

Seasonally appropriate quickbread!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. Do you know where your family is?

My “in-laws” are coming to our house for Thanksgiving. They’re not really “in-laws” because G and I aren’t hitched. Sinners. ¬†Anyway, G’s family is coming to Seattle for turkey day, but we likely won’t have a turkey because a whole passel of us are vegetarians and the rest are apathetic about turkey eating. But we’ll have all the other good stuff -taters of various sorts, pies aplenty, green bean goop, the works.

And maybe we’ll have this bread.

I have to tell you, I made this because we had a lot of leftover pumpkin from pumpkin oatmeal cookies I’d made earlier in the week. It’s a tasty “leftover” option.

Recipe is adapted from Cooks Recipes.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries, whole

First off, let me show you a picture of Jeff’s (my LA friend) KitchenAid mixer. The old one that belonged to his great aunt.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how old this lovely is, but it’s certainly not new. And it works fabulously. That’s the terrific thing about KitchenAids, they look great, they work well, their design is timeless and functional. Definitely my most favorite kitchen tool.

Ok, moving on from the KitchenAid love.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a separate mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together.

In the bowl of your mixer (or with a handheld, but you should really consider getting a stand mixer, ahem), mix sugar with vegetable oil on low speed.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add vanilla and maple syrup, mix together.

Measure out your pumpkin, imprecisely.

It really squished down to the recommended cup, promise.

Add pumpkin to sugar/egg mixture, beat in gently.

Ooh you can see here that I didn’t mix after the vanilla addition. That’s fine. It all gets mixed up together anyway.

Now, time to add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture. I combined these using a spoon, because quickbreads don’t like to be beaten up too much. Gotta treat ’em gently. Such wimps.

So, mix your pumpkin and flour together, like this:

It really only takes a couple stirs to get it all combined -be sure to scrape the sides!

Time for cranberries!

Now, the original recipe called for coarsely chopping the cranberries. I decided not to, and the result is big, juicy pockets of tart sweetness in the bread. Chopping them is perfectly acceptable if you want smaller pockets of tart sweetness.

Just stir them into the batter.

Pretty colors!

Now just grease your loaf pan and dump in the batter!

Bake at 350 for about an 1 hour 15 minutes. The original recipe called for 1 hour 30 minutes but my bread would have been toast if I’d left it in there that long. I actually probably could have taken it out around the 1 hour mark. Anyway, start checking your bread for doneness after it’s baked about an hour, and just go from there.

And then enjoy some tasty breakfast bread and your in-laws!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everything I need to know these days, I learn on Twitter.

It’s totally true! Breaking news stories? Twitter. Local food facts for work? Twitter. Deals in Seattle? Twitter. What to cook next? Twitter.

And sometimes Facebook.

I first heard tell of these cookies on Twitter, from a friend whose cookie judgement I trust. Then the recipe was shared on Facebook by another friend whose cookie judgement is likewise reliable. I really can’t think of too many people I know with faulty cookie judgement, come to think of it. Don’t surround myself with a bad cookie crowd.

Anyway, the original recipe comes from Make and Takes. I made some modifications. The original calls for butterscotch chips, which I didn’t have. Because my baking pantry is never fully stocked. You’re never fully stocked without an assortment of candy chips. Or a smile.

So, we have Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, because ’tis the season for pumpkin and ’tis always the season for chocolate.

Here’s what you need.

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (speaking of not being properly stocked, I had to use bread flour for the 1/4 cup because I ran out of all-purpose. Turned out just fine, but don’t do this. Get all-purpose.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I didn’t have any vanilla. But you should use it!)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Now, when I moved to Seattle, I either sold a lot of my cooking gear at a yard sale or left it at my parents’ house. This means I have no mixing bowls. Baking usually requires 2 bowls -one to mix your dry ingredients, another to mix the wet ingredients. I have a KitchenAid mixer -so the bowl of that is where I mix my wet ingredients, but what to do with my flour and baking soda?

Mason jar to the rescue!

I bought 12 of these the other day. They’re great for storing things, using as vases, and mixing up my dry ingredients!

Measure flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a wide mouthed Mason jar. Shake it until mixed.

Shake shake shake your sillies out.

Once you’ve mixed your dry ingredients, get rolling with the sugar and butter. Measure sugar and brown sugar into the bowl of your mixer along with butter chopped into chunks.

In goes the sugar.

And more sugar.

Beat sugar and butter together until creamy.

Add an egg (and vanilla, if you’re not lame).

Mix some more.

Now add the pumpkin and mix until combined.

It will be soupy.

Slowly add the flour mixture from the mason jar. Another perk of the mason jar method is it makes it easy to pour into the stand mixer’s bowl while the mixer is running. No flying flour!

Now, your dough will still be soupy. That’s ok.

Because now you add 3 cups of oats! You can just stir in the oats with a spoon.

Also, stir in your chocolate chips. I used milk chocolate chips.

That’s the cookie dough! And that’s a bowl of gourds in the background.

Now, this is a little weird. I greased the cookie sheet I baked these on. Often, you don’t have to do this because the cookies have enough oil/butter in them to keep them from sticking. But these are mostly pumpkin. So I Pammed the sheet. You could also line the baking sheet with parchment paper. But guess what? I didn’t have any of that either.

I’m telling you this so you know that you can make delicious cookies and impress your friends and family even if you are woefully unprepared.

Or maybe my friends are just too nice.

Hm.

No, they’re not. These cookies are just that good.

Ok, so you’ve lightly greased your baking sheet. Plop slightly-bigger-than-tablespoon-sized bits of cookie dough onto your cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 2 minutes. The cookies won’t come off the sheet nicely unless you let them sit.

Repeat! I didn’t regrease my ¬†cookie sheet and all went well.

These are some seriously soft cookies.

You can eat them for breakfast! I just did.

Now I have to go consult Twitter to see what else I need to do today.