Quick Pumpkin Bread

Cook’s notes: Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf or 12 muffins.

1.75 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar)
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup cooked pumpkin (from 15 oz can), not pumpkin pie filling
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or nut of your choice
2/3 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. Coat  9 x 5-inch bread pan with cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices together.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and eggs until light and fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin and 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat in the milk and another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat in remaining 1/3 flour mixture. Add the vanilla and nuts and beat just until thoroughly mixed.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 1 hour, until the loaf has separated from the sides of the pan. Serve plain or with whipped cream. Store in the fridge for one week or freeze up to 6 months.

Variation: Pumpkin Muffins
Heat oven to 400F. Lightly grease muffin tin. Mix batter as directed above. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Adapted from Susan Lowell’s book Clouds for Dessert