In Which I Prepare for FrankenStorm by Baking Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Yesterday was another Saturday as usual, and this weekend’s food/drink festival of choice was Brooklyn Wort, a bi-annual homebrew competition. Harry and his brew buddy Matt competed, and their Red Fusion IPA–a spicy, hoppy, slightly sweet beer–was a huge crowd pleaser. I mean it, they got third place in the audience favorite category. Kudos, guys!

But the foley of yesterday has passed and today is all about waiting in lines just to get into the supermarket, filling every bottle in the house with water, and making sure flashlights have batteries, and cell phones, laptops, etc, etc are all charged. It’s days like today I think I may be on to something with this whole canning thing. Come visit me when we’re on day 7 of no running water or electricity; I’ll be snacking on sweet pickled pumpkin and spicy string beans. No canned soup for me.

But at least for now I will be weathering out the storm at Harry’s–there’s a tree that looks rather ominous right outside my bedroom window and I have a bad feeling about how it’s going to react to 80 mile per hour winds. And did I mention that Harry and his dad are really well stocked with homebrewed beer? Having left my stock of canned goods at home, I had to earn my keep at their apartment some other way, and thus I was able to turn to my favorite aspect of doomsday planning: figuring out what I will bake to keep me fed throughout the storm. I started by thinking about what would keep best should the electricity go out. But with all the hullaballoo that the meteorologists are making, my thoughts quickly turned to, “If I could have one last dessert, what would it be?” Seriously, from what I’ve been hearing, Hurricane Sandy = end times.

I ended up picking a dessert that I find delicious and keeps really well: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf. The spices add great warmth to the pumpkin, it’s super moist, and the crust is so crunchy. Make some, quick, before the entire Eastern seaboard is under water. And do tell, what are you making during your hurricane prep?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Adapted from Baked

Makes 2 loaves

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

15 ounce can pumpkin puree

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Butter two 9 inch loaf pans, lightly dust them with flour, and shake them to remove any excess flour.

Combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk together the pumpkin puree and vegetable oil in another large bowl. Add the sugar and whisk together until just combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk each until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and combine.

Fold the chocolate chips into the wet mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry mix into the wet mix, and be sure not to over-mix.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Rotate the loaf pans half way through the baking time. The loaves are ready when a toothpick inserted in the middle of a loaf comes out clean.

Let the loaves cool, slice, and enjoy! These loaves can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for about 3 days, at which point we will hopefully be able to leave our homes and venture back into the outdoors. Or you can wrap the loaves in aluminum foil and keep them in the freezer for just about forever.


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