December 17, 2009
T-minus eight days until Christmas....eeeekkkk!! Last I checked, it was just Thanksgiving and our waistlines were still recovering from the damage. Now it's already the season of Christmas cookies and office holiday treats?? When time flies this fast, it must mean you're really getting old!
Anyway, this pumpkin bread is one of our favorite holiday traditions during this time of the year. If you haven't noticed, tradition = food in our household. The recipe actually comes from another old family friend (who owns a vineyard in Napa, btw!), so this has been around in my family for years. AC likes it because it has a very smooth pumpkin taste -- not too sweet nor spicy. I love it because the texture is insanely moist and soft from the pumpkin puree. Plump, juicy raisins and little bits of walnuts tie the whole ensemble together perfectly.
I sometimes eat this with a nice, thick layer of cream cheese spread over each slice. I grew up doing this -- that, as well as eating avocado topped with mayonnaise as our "vegetables" for dinner -- and it makes each bite absolutely divine. It's similar to a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting, only a bit more calm/grounded and not as cracked-out-in-sugar (if you know what I mean). Besides, isn't everything better with cream cheese? ;)
Phyllis's Pumpkin Bread
Recipe adapted from Phyllis, an old family friend
2/3 C butter, room temperature
2 2/3 C sugar
1 lb canned pumpkin
2/3 C water
3 1/3 C flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
1 C raisins
2/3 C chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin and water. Mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Add to butter bowl, and stir until just mixed in. Add raisins and chopped walnuts.
Divide batter between two 9x5 loaf tins. Bake about 50 minutes, until done.