It's Fall, muffins!!!
Like, it's really Fall. It's not just kinda Fall and there is going to be a whole Indian Summer thing happening (side note: AMAZING movie) and you can keep some sparkly flip-flops around and maybe some shorts and maybe you don't have to put all the patio furniture away just yet.
Move on. Summer is over and Autumn is here to stay and it has us feeling very poetic, living in the Northeast and all. Leaves are changing, warty gourds are everywhere (we love you ugly gourds), pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps, apple cider is filling grocery store carts, chilly mornings make dew twinkle, um, people wear puffy vests...uh, pumpkins, er, mums, and...gourds and... it's Fall! YAY! That's basically where we are going with this.
(We never said we were good at being poetic.)
So it was only fitting with the season that we spend a day buying Halloween candy (we gotta taste test this stuff before we give it to the children, duh) and potted mums, planning our Thanksgiving menu (Indian food), receiving Christmas catalogs in the mail and baking Pumpkin Bread. Because what says Fall better than all that, better than Pumpkin Bread?!?!
Nothing. Except maybe Pumpkin Bread smothered in Chocolate Cream Cheese "Spread" (aka frosting, let's be honest).
Pumpkin Spice Bread with Chocolate Cream Cheese Spread
Makes 2 large loaves or 6 small loaves
For the Pumpkin Bread:
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Spread:
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped or in chips
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour two 8.5 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans (or 6 mini-loaf pans...we did 1 large loaf and 3 mini-loaves).
Mix the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
Beat the sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in the eggs and canned pumpkin and then blend in the sour cream mixture. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and baking powder. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. PS- At this point you could add chocolate chips or dried cranberries or some other delicious thought.
Divide the batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes for the large loaf and about 40-45 minutes for the mini-loaves. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
Then, in a small bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high, stirring after every 30 seconds until almost smooth. Keep stirring so the residual heat melts any remaining chunks and you don't burn the chocolate. Stir in the soft cream cheese until smooth. Serve with the sliced pumpkin bread and store in the fridge.