Pumpkin Gingerbread #PumpkinFest
|October 2, 2015||Filled under Breads, Thanksgiving|
Why does pumpkin seem to make everything better? I’m in love with gingerbread, but Pumpkin Gingerbread? Holy cow! And this one adds crystallized ginger as a bonus boost of flavor. Both ginger and pumpkin are really good for you, so if you make the few little adjustments mentioned in the recipe, you actually have something you can eat *almost* guilt-free! (I recommend the portion-controlled muffin version.)
Gather up the ingredients, nothing unusual except maybe the crystallized ginger.
If you’ve never used crystallized ginger, it looks like this.
I pick it up at my local farmer’s market to get the best price, but it’s really simple to make your own. Here’s a great tutorial on the America’s Test Kitchen site.
The hardest part is mincing it because it’s so sticky. Just push on through it and you’ll end up with something like this (a bigger chop may be too much to bite into.)
I also like to use whole nutmeg. The flavor difference when you grate your own as you need it is incredible! I use my microplaner to grate it, but they also make graters specifically for nutmeg that actually store the rest of the nut for you.
Look how beautiful it is on the inside and it smells heavenly!
This is freshly grated nutmeg compared to ground nutmeg from a jar. You can find whole nutmeg in the spice aisle or at an Indian or Asian grocery. I pick mine up at the same international farmer’s market as the ginger. I typically use the same amount either way.
Now, there’s really no rhyme or reason to the order that this recipe adds ingredients once you pass the “cream the butter and sugar” part. It’s seems really random and defiant of everything you’re told about baking, but it works. You just have to take that leap of faith!
This is what it looks like right before you add the eggs. It reminds me of streusel topping.
I split this batch and made about 10 muffins and one large loaf of Pumpkin Gingerbread. Both varieties freeze and reheat well. It stays moist and delicious.
3/4 cup butter or vegetable shortening (coconut oil also works nicely)
1-1/4 cups brown sugar (I use brown sugar Splenda – scant 3/4 cup)
2-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (you may use 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour and 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, if desired)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 – 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced
1/2 cup diced pecans or chocolate chips (optional)
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons molasses (you can substitute sorghum, but the flavor is much lighter than molasses)
one can or 15 ounces of pumpkin
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your pans, either grease two loaf pans for loaves, or if you’re making muffins, grease 24 muffin cups or line them with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until well blended.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, ginger and pecans (if you’re using them,) then mix well. The batter will get crumbly.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
Beat in both the molasses and the pumpkin until they are evenly distributed. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips (if you’re using them.)
Scoop the batter into the greased loaf pans or the muffin cups (fill in the cups about two thirds full.)
Place the muffins in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned on the edges and the middle springs back when touched. Bake the loaves at the same temperature for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan.
Yields 24 muffins or two loaves.
Optional – this bread is pretty yummy on its own, but you can make it pop a little more by adding a quick orange glaze made from powdered sugar and a little orange juice (and maybe a bit of orange zest, if you have it on hand).