I still don’t have any candy in the house. In just a few hours, the homes in my neighborhood will be filled with eager trick or treaters, the energy bursting at the seams, counting down the minutes until the sun goes down and they get the green light from their parents to emerge and begin the spooky Halloween fun. And I still don’t have a single snitch of candy!
It was intentional. In years past, the Halloween candy I buy somehow disappears into a mysterious black hole of candy abyss days (or even weeks) before its intended night. I have my suspicions as to who is sneaking a Twix or two. I’ve tried hiding the stash, but no matter how clever the hiding spot, it its always found. Always. So my strategy this year was to hold off to the last possible minute.
Without any sweets to sneak, I found myself craving a treat: a spicy, tender slice of warm pumpkin bread. Is there anything better as we head into days of cozy sweaters and tall warm boots? I think not! If only I could convince my children to agree this is far better than the candies that will fill their baskets!
“Mom, are you handing out pumpkin bread tonight?” my daughter quipped. “Not a bad idea,” I joked back.
The kids might not appreciate it, but perhaps you might? This is my treat for you. Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread. A slice of comfort, on this Halloween night. Have a delicious Halloween, everyone!
Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread
I'm not sure what's better: biting into a freshly baked slice of fresh pumpkin bread, or the way your home is filled with the aroma of autumn. Have the best of both worlds in this wonderful treat.
3 cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
2 cups sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
8 oz fresh or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 very ripe bananas
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute 1 cup milk with juice of one lemon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch loaf pans by buttering and lining with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt. Add nuts if using, then set aside. In a the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add the pumpkin and bananas. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating until incorporated. Try to end with the dry ingredient addition, and be sure not to over mix.
Bake in buttered loaf pans for 45 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.