I have been a baking fan on and off in my life since I was a grade schooler. But lately it had fallen by the wayside, I just wasn’t making time for it, and wasn’t keeping the right stock of ingredients around to make things. It’s been on my mind, with the prices of sweet treats in the store and that there aren’t many choices there for cookies etc. made from reasonably healthy ingredients. Then, recently, Stonehead’s blog post on “Squeezing in more baking”gave me the nudge I needed to reflect that making cookies and quick breads really doesn’t take much time at all-maybe twenty minutes.

So, last week I made chocolate chip cookies, and last night, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread. The latter is pretty scrumptious. I had snipped this recipe from a newspaper, but the proportions weren’t right. I think the author mistakenly halved the bread quantities but left the cream filling double. So the first time I tried it, I had low-profile loaves with an out-of-control amount of filling. This time, I was able to fix the numbers, and it came out more like I was anticipating. And, I like recipes like this, with very simple measurements and instructions. A perfect comfort food for these crisp fall days!

 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Quick Bread
Cream cheese filling: beat together:
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 egg
1 tsp orange zest

“Dry” ingredients: sift together in a bowl:
3 1/3 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

“Wet” ingredients: beat together in a separate bowl:
2 c pumpkin puree
1 c veg oil
4 eggs
3 c sugar

Beat together wet & dry ingredients til just combined. Cover bottoms of both baking pans with enough batter to make about 1/3 of the total volume of each loaf.  Spread cream cheese filling in”channels” down the middle of each loaf. Top with remaining batter, spread to cover cream cheese.

Bake @ 350 for 70+ minutes, until tops spring back when touched & they pass the toothpick test. Cool 10 min in pans, then cool more on wire racks.

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