Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WDW - Fall baking

It's fall! In fact, the feeling of fall, when it comes into the air, is all I need to cure me of any leftover summertime blues. The past few years, I have taken to decorating the house a bit for the season. It makes the house feel so festive. Each year, I try to find a little something to add to my decoration collection. Here are some of my favorite finds:


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Love these big "faux" pumpkins from Twigs 'n Things in Montrose...this one greets you at my front door.

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...and I love these little ones too! I have three of them with different sayings that remind me of God's goodness!

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I found these "thankful" blocks at Home Goods (love that store) this year. I skip Halloween and go right to Thanksgiving! (nice pic...see me? duh.)

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Fall would not fall for me without these. And yes, candy is a completely legitimate decoration!

Fall means candlemaking time, too!

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Pumpkin, apple-cinnamon, vanilla....I could eat these.

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And here are some yummy pomegranite ones, too. I love the color!

And, of course what is fall without baking? I simply ADORE pumpkin everything! I have been making pumpkin-spice lattes, baking pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin-cream cheese muffins (a couple WDW's ago), and I know Drew is going to be wanting some pumpkin pie soon!

Here are a couple of my newest faves. I was happy to recently find a really good recipe for pumpkin bread. I have had recipes in the past, but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. This one is nice and moist and has just the right amount of spice. It makes a nice tall loaf and is great cut into fat slices. Recently, I made a couple loaves, and a few mini-loaves too, for some college dorm-living boys who came for dinner recently(my son being one of them). Emma and Rich like chocolate chips in their pumpkin bread, so I always sprinkle some in to one of the loaves for them. But I'm a purist. No chocolate chips or nuts for me - I like my pumpkin bread soft and not crunchy. Whatever way you like yours, this is a great recipe to try.

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Pumpkin Spice bread

2 cups canned pumpkin

3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat oven to 350.

In KitchenAid, combine pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil and eggs.
Beat until well mixed.

Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves into mixer. Beat until combined.

Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans or one 9 x 5 loaf pan and 3-4 mini loaf pans. Evenly divide the batter between the pans.

Bake for 60-70 minutes (40 min. for mini loaves) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans by inverting onto a rack and tapping the bottoms.

Slice and serve plain, buttered, or with cream cheese.


This Apple Streusel is a new find, too (sorry no pic - I've made it twice and both times I was so anxious to eat it that I forgot to take a photo!). It is so good, I keep wondering where it has been all my life! I have discovered that I prefer the topping of a streusel (butter, flour sugar, spice) more than an apple crisp-type topping (usually contains texture like oats & nuts). The streusel topping is softer and reminds me more of the taste of pie crust. This recipe takes only around 10 minutes to get into the oven and it is so delish. A scoop of good vanilla ice cream makes this the quintessential fall dessert.

Apple Streusel

3 good-sized fresh fall apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Topping:
1/2 stick cold butter (4 TB.)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Peel and core the apples, slice and place in a bowl. Top with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, toss to coat. Set aside while preparing topping.

Make the streusel by cutting the cold butter into a bowl, adding flour, sugar and cinnamon, and rubbing it through your fingers until the streusel is a coarse, sandy/pebbly texture. Put the seasoned apples into the pan, top generously with the streusel, and bake at 350° about 40-50 minutes, until the streusel is golden brown and the apple is starting to bubble up through the topping. Test an apple for tenderness before removing from oven.

Serves: 3-4
Double the recipe for an 8x8 pan, quadruple it for a 9x13 pan



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2 comments:

mangle said...

You are just so cute! We love those candy pumpkins! Yes, you have to allow this comment even with me saying how cute you are! ;)

Nick said...

i am a purist as well...
Thank you for the pumkin bread! it was great, i made it last i think 4 days- it was so hard not to eat it all at once.

-Nick