Traditions lend comfortable predictability to life, like a snuggly blanket on a chilly day. Here in the US we just celebrated Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the whole year. I love that my nuclear family gathers, if only for a few days (with one daughter living in the South, these moments are rare). I love having all my extended family get together (which is more important than ever now that we don’t live in the same state). And of course, I love the food traditions. You know, roast turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and all the desserts (those are my specialty, as you might expect).. Here I tweak tradition a little bit with my pies: Black Bottom Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie and Cranberry Almond Apple Pie with a lattice crust…yummmm (pausing to wipe the drool off my keyboard). One tradition I don’t touch is that my Father-in-Law won’t let me in the door unless I promise to bake him my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, and that’s upwards of 30 years now!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is considered a quick bread. Unlike cakes & cookies, quick breads you mix all the ingredients together in a bowl…no creaming butter and sugar together. In fact, you don’t even need a mixer at all to make a quick bread, and they are oh, so versatile. They can be made in a standard loaf pan, mini loaf pans, standard muffin cups, or even mini 2-bite muffins…so many options! When I couldn’t find my recipe when I moved to Boston, I searched until I found one that looked similar to what I remembered on AlexandraCooks.com. A few tweaks here and there, and voilá…Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread as it has always been. Yay…now let me in!
Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen
- 13oz (3 cups, 360g) flour
- 14 oz (2 cups, 400g) sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 7 oz (1 cup, 200ml) canola oil
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 15oz canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 6 oz (3/4 cup, 172ml) water
- 12 oz (1 package, 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° Grease 2 standard (8.5 x 4.5-inch) loaf pans (or 4 to 5 mini loaf pans depending on what size you are using — don’t fill pans higher than 2/3 full) with butter or non-stick spray.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing Add sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin purée and water and mix only until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips, then pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for about an hour (if using standard loaf pans) but start checking for doneness after 45 minutes — the loaves are done when center springs back when
- When using small loaf pans, the loaves should be done in under 45 minutes. Start checking after 30 minutes. Muffins take about 18-20 minutes, and mini muffins about 15-18 minutes.
- You can substitute chopped nuts or dried fruit for the chocolate chips, if desired (but my Father-in-Law wouldn’t approve).
I recently found my old recipe I had used for years…you can see how well loved (and adapted over the years) it was. There was one year when I accidentally bought a large-sized (29 oz) can of pumpkin, so I added the 2nd recipe you see in the picture for Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaves (I couldn’t let that extra pumpkin go to waste!). The only real difference between my old recipe and the one above is the addition of more baking spices and the reduction in the amount of sugar needed, and both those changes are for the better, I believe.
Do you have a traditional “must have” dish at your Thanksgiving feast (or another celebratory dinner)? What do your relatives clamor for you to bring? Inquiring minds want to know! Having baking traditions is a great way of celebrating the past, even if you tweak it a bit. Now if you’ll excuse me, that last slice of pumpkin bread is calling to me (assuming I beat my Father-in-Law to it)…yummmm…
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!