I have been eating Aunt Carol's Pumpkin Bread for as long as I can remember. For those of you who have my cookbook you will find the recipe next to the picture of Holden pulling the guts out of a pumpkin. Don't worry, you won't have to cut up a pumpkin; canned pumpkin works perfectly fine.
Aunt Carol's Pumpkin Bread
Before you make the Pumpkin Bread, you will need to make some Raisin Juice.
This is Aunt Carol's secret ingredient. I have never made this without the raisin juice; it is a family tradition not to be messed with. But I imagine you could substitute water for the same amount, but it may not have that deep orange color.
- 2 cups raisins (you can use the old dry ones you have lurking in your cupboards)
- boiling water
- Place raisins into a pint or quart sized jar.
- Cover with boiling water.
- Steep overnight (or at least for a few hours). Strain. Discard raisins.
- Use 1 cup for the pumpkin bread recipe; freeze the rest for other baking projects, or to put in a smoothie.
For the Pumpkin Bread:
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 1lb. 13 oz. can pumpkin
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup raisin juice
- optional: 1 cup raisins or currants, or 1 cup mini chocolate chips, or 1 cup chopped walnuts. (Chocolate chips always win at our house).
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 5 (or more) cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease your baking pans with Crisco, or butter liberally.
- Mix sugar, salt, eggs, pumpkin, canola oil and raisin juice in a standing mixer, or a large (really large) bowl.
- Add dry ingredients and enough flour to make a thick batter. (At this altitude, I use all 5 cups, and a bit more at the end if it looks too wet.)
- Add chocolate chips, raisins, or nuts.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pans, filling each about 1 inch from the top.
- Bake 45-50 minutes for small loaves, 1 hr or more for large loaves. Test a few minutes before done with a wooden skewer. If they are still jiggling on top and the skewer is wet, then give it more time.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 cups flour
- 3 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Mix flour, baking soda, salt. Add rolled oats.
- In a standing mixer or a large bowl, mix the butter with the sugars. Add the peanut butter, and mix well. Add the vanilla and the eggs, beating well with each egg.
- Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips. Mix it all up, but don't overmix.
- Now the hard part: Chill for 2 hours. Go for a bike ride to work off all the cookie dough you just ate!
- Form dough into walnut-sized balls and place on cookie sheets.
- Bake 375 degrees for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are toasty brown. Do not overbake. The cookies should be not quite done when you pull them out of the oven, and they will finish cooking on the hot cookie sheet.
- Cool on a baking rack, if you have one. Share liberally.