Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Bread and Book Club

I haven't been blogging much lately. Shame on me but things have been pretty busy around these parts. This Saturday was my monthly book club meeting and it was lots of fun. The Italian says we should rename it to drink club with a side of book because we always end up talking about the book for all of 5 minutes and spend the rest of the night eating and drinking wine and/or beer. Well, wine for me anyhow. It's always so much fun! So this last months book was "The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World" by Eric Weiner. I really enjoyed this book. I won't write a review here but I will recommend it. It's a light read and full of humor. It's very enlightening and great for lovers of travel as well as for those that haven't ventured very far but would like a perspective on the world as someone else sees it. You can read about it here.

I baked a Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip bread and it was a huge success! My friend Claire's husband did a dance for me just after his first bite :-)

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip bread recipe:


3 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can solid pack pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup of water
3 tablespoons Canadian maple syrup
1/2 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

Optional: substitute chocolate chips for walnuts or use both!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine sugar, oil, applesauce and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well.

Combine dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water.

Pour into two greased loaf pans, or one loaf pan and one cupcake pan, or one bundt cake pan...etc, many possibilities!

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until the bread tests done. Drizzle maple syrup over the top when just out of the oven. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Personally, I like to slice into it while it's still warm and add a dallup of Cool Whip!

Sorry there's no pic of the bread sliced. I didn't take my camera with me to book club but I am sure I will make it again really soon, so perhaps I'll post some pics then. Plus my photographer is in Milano so with only two hands it was hard to stop and take a pic so I just used the point & shoot.

Let me know if you try it and how it comes out!


fromtheworld said...

Hi. Thanks the advice on the book. It sounds good. The book club you attend sounds like a lot of fun. I should try to find one here too. Thanks also for sharing the recipe...It sounds very good and I love I should definitively try it!

Amber said...

All I can say is "Mmmmmmm!" as I wipe drool from my chin. That pumpkin bread looks sooo good!

Piccola said...

Thanks girls! I hate to toot my own horn but this recipe is really good and so moist. I've always had luck with baking and creating my own recipes but cooking, well, I do ok but nothing exceptional. The Italian is the master at that, so we balance each other out nicely :-)

fromtheworld said...

You got a perfect combination there with the Italian! you can bake well and he cooks well. I need to find that sort of balance too, as I sound a lot like you....I like baking but in cooking I am a disaster!!!
Getting ready for your trip to Italy?

KC said...

That pumpkin bread looks delicious. I love baking with pumpkin...and chocolate...what a combination! I'm going to have to try it.

Cecilia said...

yum! I might have to make this as I am drooling now! :)

Piccola said...

I hope you all do try it and let me know how it turns out!

fromtheworld said...

Hey, I was wondering when you will go to Italy...wasn't around Christmas? anyway, if you go, enjoy your trip a lot!!!

Piccola said...

Ciao fromtheworld! I am leaving on Dec 22. Less than a week! Thank you so much. I am so excited! I will try to blog while I am there. I haven't had much time lately because I am working a lot of overtime, going to the gym and shopping so when I get home I am too tired. I suspect I will have more time while I am in Italy. If I don't, Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!!

fromtheworld said...

Wow, I am so happy for you!!! Have a great trip!!! and you shouldn't spend too much time blogging while in Italy, you should just enjoy there as much as you can!!!! I am very very happy for you!!! Have a wonderful Christmas and an even better New Year!!!!

Astrid said...

Hey! Are you under the snow (now rain) in Milan too? We'll be staying until 1st Jan, and then return to France so I guess we won't be seeing each other this time around then since you are going away between Christmas and New Years eve. However, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year and I hope to see you another time in Milan.