The Great Pumpkin Hunt!








Greetings everyone! Well, it’s almost November and I can still wear flip-flops and shorts to school on any given day…sweating as I “truck it” from class to class…water bottle in hand and sun-shades on full blast! Nevertheless, it is “fall” and I am in that fall spirit…regardless of whether or not leaves are falling from the trees, or if there is a winter chill in the air. I am embracing the season…which means a bundle of holiday desserts featuring my all time favorite…PUMPKIN…or does it? Yesterday, as I was planning to begin the season with my all time signature recipe for pumpkin bread, I was met with an unexpected grocery shopping disaster that almost sent my heart into shock (I swear I heard it stop!). Anyway, I went to Central Market for one thing and one thing only, the key ingredient for my bread…pumpkin. However, as I arrived at the baking aisle I noticed that some dirty grocery thief had played a sick joke and heisted all of the canned pumpkin. Trying to crack the case, I enlisted the help of the dairy man…who could see the question written all over my face: “Do you have any canned pumpkin?” I knew something was wrong as he gave me that “Oh, you haven’t heard” hopeless chuckle, then he said it: “Apparently, there is some sort of nation wide pumpkin shortage.” Pumpkin shortage or not, I had to have my pumpkin bread! So, I set out on a wild pumpkin chase hitting up the unreliable Target (I honestly don’t know what I was thinking…really?). My last hope was the tiny farmer’s market/grocery store. I crossed my finger…closed my eyes, and there they sat in a pretty little row on the bottom shelve of the baking aisle…the last three cans of pumpkin in the city of Austin! And you know what…I bought all three! I know, I know I’m greedy, and there is probably a little old lady out there searching for a can of pumpkin at this moment, just so that her grandchildren can enjoy her pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Okay, so I am exaggerating just a “little” bit, but what can I say? Without this pumpkin I wouldn’t have been able to share this scrumptious recipe with you all. I even wrapped them in cute little packages… I bought them a while ago at Michael’s from the Paula Deen kitchen collection…so cute! Family members and friends…get ready because these might be in your stocking’s this year as well…I will have my little elves personally deliver them!

MANGIA!

Mini Pumpkin Walnut Loaves w/ Powdered Sugar Glaze

Wet Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped walnut pieces

Glaze:
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp. water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer, combine all of the wet ingredients.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
5. With the electric mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
6. Add the walnuts and mix.
7. Pour the batter into each of the 4 mini loaf pans.
8. Bake in the oven for 48-50 minutes.
9. Take the mini’s out of the oven and allow them to cool completely.
10. Make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar and water together in a mixing bowl.
11. Drizzle each mini with a good amount of powdered sugar glaze and Enjoy!

*Tip: I pop mine into the microwave and eat with butter and a glass of milk…nothing better (well…maybe a little cream cheese, but the possibilities are endless).

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