We'll start off with a quick bread. My all-time favorite bread is banana nut bread, and recently a friend asked me if I had ever made it without the bananas (she's not a fan of the yellow fruit.) I hadn't, but I scrounged around and came up with a few alternatives that were similar in other ingredients, including a strawberry jam and nut bread recipe that has been passed down from mother to daughter in our family, and this pumpkin-spice bread recipe. I'll try to post the strawberry bread recipe closer to Christmas.
The pumpkin bread sounded deliciously similar to my beloved banana bread, so I had to try it for myself. (Friends don't give untested recipes to friends, right?)
I whipped this up yesterday, and tapped my toe until it was cool enough to slice. It was met with two thumbs up from swimmer girl, although I think it would benefit from a little baking lagniappe (see my recommendations below.)
Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread
1/2 cup butter (or margarine) slightly softened to smear texture
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup (1/2 can) pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
Directions: Heat oven to 350. Generously grease a 9x5 loaf pan (or 2-3 mini loaf pans) with shortening. Don't use spray or butter - trust me.
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Add pumpkin puree and sour cream or yogurt. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (don't overbake.) Slide a thin blade around the edge to loosen from pan; invert onto cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Wrap loaf in a tea towel to store overnight, or let cool completely and freeze for no more than a month.
Terry's recommendation: This is a good, basic recipe, but I think it needs a little something to jazz it up a notch. I'd recommend any one of these three options (and I'll be trying them myself soon - perhaps even some combination of these three):
1. At a minimum, throw 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped nuts into the batter. Preferably pecans, but walnuts would work, too.
2. Add a streusel topping (1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter, crumbled together and sprinkled over the top of the batter before baking.)
3. Cream cheese glaze (1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, beat together until smooth; drizzle over loaf after removing it from the pan.) Garnish with chopped nuts if desired.