With the sun setting earlier each evening and the daylight hours dwindling, I have unconsciously begun nestling in for the cold months to come. The freezer is well stocked. The sweaters have made their way to the center of the closet, pushing aside the t-shirts and summer dresses. Once I could see my breath outdoors, I made a large pot of vegetable soup to keep warm. It now feels like a cliche to say Winter is Coming, but I can see it in those around me, as we try to get in the last few weeks of autumn before winter's sleep.
It is the ebb and flow of life in the Midwest.
Autumn has the best flavors—cinnamon, nutmeg, maple, molasses—and I will argue it fervidly with anyone who objects. To me, it doesn't truly feel like the season until I open a can of pumpkin. Mixed with sweet, rich molasses, the pumpkin finds a home. I like to add a little cinnamon brown sugar topping to my pumpkin loaves to add a sweet, extra crunch. It is something my grandmother has done with her own breads, and I choose to follow her path. The bread is dense and moist, hearty and made for snacking.
I ate the slices plain, and I drizzled the slices with caramel; both ways are fabulous. As an unexpected recommendation, this pumpkin bread goes beautifully with a can of cola. The flavors and sweetness mingle in an unforeseen, but truly noteworthy manner.
Pumpkin Molasses Bread is a spiced quick bread that encompasses the flavors of autumn. The bread is easy to throw together, but becomes difficult to wait for once it starts to fill the house with the scents of cinnamon and molasses. The bread is filling, which makes one slice a good choice for a morning snack (or breakfast).
One Year Ago: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Two Years Ago: Caramelized Leek, Basil, & Black Pepper Biscuits, Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cinnamon Roll Cookies, and Bourbon Peach & Thyme Jam
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Beet Cake, Sweet & Spicy Peanut Chili Chicken Wings, Zucchini Bread, and Lemon Blueberry Scones
Four Years Ago: Fleur de Sel Chocolate Figs, Mixed Berry Crumble, and Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream
Pumpkin Molasses Bread
Yields 9 x 5-inch loaf
Pumpkin Molasses Bread
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, packed
15 ounces (425 grams) canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (120 ml) molasses
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Topping
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin batter.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
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