Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Loaf with Cream Cheese Glaze

The fact that October is in 4 days hasn't hit me yet. The fact that Halloween is at hand and I feel like we're still just getting over Easter is bugging me. I've never been one to lose count of the months, or the days. Now it feels like the complete opposite.

And that whole Christmas is in 3 months thing...

Yeah. 3 months. I know everyone reading this just felt their stomach drop.

Even though fall is here it doesn't feel like it yet. Sure, we've put up all our fancy fall specials in the cafe of our store. Canned pumpkin is making its return full blast and Winter Squash is goin' for 69 cents a pound at the store. It should feel like it's Autumn, but where's the cold? Kind of hard to enjoy my butternut squash soup on a chilly night when it's hot enough to still be drinking pink lemonade and eating overpriced strawberries.

Regardless of the humidity, I'm still trying to get into the set of things. I know that as soon as I get that whiff of winter on a chilly, foggy morning here, I'll get the Christmas bug. I like to call it my CCD. Christmas Cookie Disorder. It begins whenever the first smell of winter arrives, and leaves any time after the store stops selling those awesome Danish Butter Cookies that come in the dark blue tins... Dang, those things are good.

This loaf is one of those things helping me remind myself that yes, it is almost October. Yes, there is pumpkin to be eaten. Yes, I do not have any freakin' idea what to get anyone for Christmas and Yes, this Pumpkin Spice Loaf goes great with Coffee or if you're feeling really ambitious, a Pumpkin Spice Latte'. Hey, man, if you're gonna go all the way.... ;)

The bread itself is moist, a little less sweeter than you're normal pumpkin bread just because I went ahead and cut the sugar in half so I wouldn't get a blood rush in the morning when I ate it for breakfast. It's virtually fat-free, replacing all the oil with unsweetened applesauce and only using one whole egg. The bread still stays delicious, though I could've definitely amped up the "spice" part of it, but I feared the end result would be a little too hardcore for my cinnamon-hating other half to handle. I'd say when and if you do make the bread, definitely throw in 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and maybe even add 1/4 teaspoon of allspice. Or you can just go with a healthy dose of pumpkin pie spice and call it a day. Whatever makes your skirt fly up.

Though the bread part of it is pretty much good for snacking and breakfast, the unsweet undertones of the bread are balanced out completely by the cream cheese frosting.

And yes. It is to die for. You will have leftovers. Use them wisely. As in.... insert spoon into vat of frosting and proceed to put it in your mouth. Don't worry! Even the frosting isn't that bad for you... Or at least that's what we can pretend.

I'm going to keep trying to get my mindset in the Autumn mood. Maybe buy a few fuzzy jackets. Make a few Christmas Cookies ahead of time. Eat some gingersnaps. Eat some gingersnaps in a crust with Pumpkin Pie. Eat some gingersnap in a crust with Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie. Heck, maybe I'll actually carve a pumpkin this year and make it look like Elvis.

And then I'll make another loaf of pumpkin spice bread. And eat all the frosting for breakfast. Yep. That sounds like a plan.

Pumpkin Spice Loaf with Cream Cheese Glaze

Pumpkin Spice Loaf Ingredients:
1 cup of pure canned pumpkin
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg white
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I would up this to 2 teaspoons next time)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I would up this to 1 teaspoon next time)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional, but it wouldn't hurt)

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light and it tasted fine)
4 oz 1/3 less than fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
(yes, you will have leftover glaze. If you do not want leftover glaze, cut the ingredients in half)

Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Combine all wet ingredients, pumpkin through vanilla extract, into a medium bowl. In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, flours through allspice.
3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until no trace of flour is left
4. Pour the mixture into a well greased 9x5in. loaf pan, making sure the batter is even and flat on the surface.
5. Bake at 325F for 50-60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, while bread is baking, make the glaze. Mix together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar by 1/2 cupfuls, waiting until each one is incorporated until adding more. Once you've got the desired consistency, set aside.
7. When bread is finished baked, leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before taking it out and cooling completely on a wire wrack. Once bread is cooled, top off with half of the cream cheese mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep the rest in the fridge for later baking adventures. Or you can go all out and just pour all of that glaze on top of the bread. Whatever strikes your fancy. ;)

Serves 12 generously.
Or just one really ravenous lady at breakfast.


Mollie on September 27, 2010 at 11:27 AM said...

Wow that looks awesome! I had my first fall pumpkin experience this weekend - pumpkin custard. But OH man pumpkin baking is on its way!

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