Saturday, October 25, 2008

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night...

This is the best pumpkin bread ever. I am thrilled with the result. It was a rainy and cold Saturday. We took the day off from running errands to unwind at home. The plan was to read, watch TV, take naps, and bake. What a great way to spend a Saturday. I bought another pie pumpkin a few days earlier and made a puree. I am pretty tired of boring pumpkin cakes/breads/muffins that taste like canned pumpkin. So I adapted an old recipe and added a Brazilian twist - coconut - you can't think of pumpkin in Brazil without coconut. The result was amazing. Two things made a huge difference - homemade pumpkin puree and whole spices ground right before using them (cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon). Since I don't have a dedicated coffee grinder for spices I used a small food processor with a little bit of sugar.

Pumpkin Coconut Bread

1/2 flaked coconut
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare topping, combine first 4 ingredients until crumbly. Set the mixture aside.

To prepare bread, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Combine the pumpkin and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through eggs) in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


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