Fall is probably my favorite season!  The anticipation of seeing the leaves on the trees transform into a collage of color, watching my favorite football team amongst a sea of orange fans, and of course, there is the ultimate image of Fall…the Pumpkin!

When I was growing up, the pumpkin meant that “The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was coming on television soon and Halloween was just around the corner.

Remember when this was one of the most anticipated television events growing up??
Remember when this was one of the most anticipated television events growing up??

As an adult with grown children, it now symbolizes memories of pumpkin carving, roasting seeds, and filling the house with the smell of Pumpkin Bread baking in the oven!

My babies are grown but they still come back for some pumpkin carving...this pic is from a couple of years ago
My babies are grown but they still come back for some pumpkin carving…this pic is from a couple of years ago

The pumpkin also allows me to get in touch with my creative side as seen here with my Pumpkin Topiaries.

My Pumpkin Topiary...I am not creative when it comes to decorating but this I can do!
My Pumpkin Topiary…I am not creative when it comes to decorating but this I can do!

So, in honor of the Pumpkin…I am sharing two recipes with you today.  First, the moistest Pumpkin Bread you have ever tasted and  a little bonus recipe of my spicy version of Roasted Pumpkin Seeds ….this is my take on using fall pumpkins in the kitchen!

Let’s start with the Pumpkin Bread….a very seasonal treat in our house.  I got this recipe several years ago from Ree Drummond’s cooking community website…The Tasty Kitchen.  I particularly love this site because it gives home cooks like me a place to share their favorite recipes.  I was looking for a solid pumpkin bread recipe to take make and share at our tailgate that following weekend and sure enough, I hit gold with this one!

The only change I made to the recipe through the years is what I call one of my secret weapons in the kitchen…Pumpkin Pie spice! It includes all the spices called for in the original recipe as well as a few more fall-like spices such as ginger, allspice, and mace.  Pumpkin Pie Spice took an already great recipe up a little notch!

Pumpkin Pie Spice by Spice Islands
Pumpkin Pie Spice by Spice Islands

The original recipe makes 3 loaves but I like to switch it up sometimes.  I love having a baked treat sitting on my counter covered in a cake dish just in case I have unexpected guests stop by.  So southern…and very welcoming!  I also like to make a “mini pumpkin bread” to take to a friend so when making this recipe just know you can do a variety of things with it!

Fall Pumpkin Bread
Fall Pumpkin Bread

Fall Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 3-⅓ cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 1 can Pumpkin (15 Oz.)
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 1 cup Water
  • Aluminum Foil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together (Sugar, Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, and Pumpkin Spice) in a large bowl.

Dry ingredients go in the mixer
Dry ingredients go in the mixer

Mix wet ingredients (eggs, pumpkin, oil, water) together in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.

Wet ingredients added to the mixture
Wet ingredients added to the mixture

Mix well with a mixer till smooth and the delicious smell makes you start drooling slightly.

You will seriously start to smell fall as you mix this
You will seriously start to smell fall as you mix this

Either grease a Bundt pan and a mini loaf pan for follow the original recipe by greasing 3 loaf pans (9×4) and pour equal amounts of the batter into each pan.

greased bundt pan
greased bundt pan
Mixture poured evenly into both pans
Mixture poured evenly into both pans

Bake separately or in two different ovens at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know it’s ready when the top will start cracking and when you put a toothpick/knife in, it comes out clean.  Set out to cool for about 5 minutes.

Out of the oven and baked to perfection
Out of the oven and baked to perfection

Here’s the trick on keeping it SUPER moist.

After letting it cool for about 5 minutes, take out a roll of aluminum foil. Pull out a large piece and then turn over the pan to drop one of the loaves right smack in the middle. Quickly fold the foil over (taking care not to burn the crap out of your fingers) and secure very tightly. Then set aside and let it cool off while being wrapped in the foil. Repeat and do the same to the other pans.

Turn upside down on a piece of foil
Turn upside down on a piece of foil
Wrap completely in the foil and keep it this way for several hours until completely cooled
Wrap completely in the foil and keep it this way for several hours until completely cooled
Cooled and ready to slice
Cooled and ready to slice
Moist Pumpkin Bread...oh my!
Moist Pumpkin Bread…oh my!

Just a little note…as I’m writing this blog, my husband just texted me about how amazing the bread was….all he needed was about a gallon of milk..ha, ha!  I made it on Saturday and sent some leftovers with him this morning to share at work and it is still as moist as the first day!  A must try in your kitchen….even add some chocolate chips in there for an extra sweet treat!

Bonus Recipe:  Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Every year when we carve our pumpkins, I make one of my favorite treats…roasted pumpkin seeds.  Fortunately, I am the only one in my family who likes them so they are all mine and I can make them as spicy as I like!

Since I know you may want to make these before I actually carve my pumpkins this year, I thought I would go ahead and share my recipe even though I don’t have pictures yet.  So here is the recipe and I will post the pictures in another blog later this month.  This is a winning recipe from Taste of Home (with a little secret of my own added) if you like spice and pumpkin seeds!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt (for soaking)
  • 2 cups cold water (for soaking)

Directions

First, my little trick:  Years ago I heard that soaking the pumpkin seeds for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours will produce crisper and crunchier pumpkin seeds.  Another bonus for soaking is it actually makes the seeds more digestible for those with “tummy issues”.  I know it sounds crazy, but it really works!

In a large bowl, cover the seeds with water and a little salt (a couple of tablespoons) and allow them to sit at room temperature for 12- 24 hours.

Drain seeds well and line a baking sheet with paper towels.  Allow the seeds to sit and dry for approximately 30 minutes.

 

In a small bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with oil, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Combine the salt, paprika, cumin and cayenne; sprinkle over seeds and toss to coat.

Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with foil; grease the foil. Spread pumpkin seeds in pan. Bake, uncovered, at 250  degrees for  about an hour or until lightly browned and dry, stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 cups.

 

Bottom Line:
Both of these fall pumpkin recipes are fool proof and delicious.  Give them a try in your kitchen and let me know the results!  I am Chef Frankie and until next time…”Keep on Cooking”!
 
For original recipes on today blog see:

 

 

 

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