Christmas Baking: Pumpkin Bread!

I had some pumpkin puree left over from making pumpkin pancakes in the morning so I decided to make this Pumpkin Bread from the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook.  That book didn’t fail me last year at all and plus, it looked really good.  It also fit the bill of wanting something on the healthier side.

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven


Makes 2 loaves 8 inch pan or 1 loaf 9 inch pan


1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 2/3 cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tsps vanilla

4 eggs

3 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)

2 tsps baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

1/2 cup raisins, if desired

Out of pan and waiting for overnight cooling before eating

Out of pan and waiting for overnight cooling before eating

1. Move oven rack to the low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350F.  Grease bottoms only of two 8×4 inch loaf pans or one 9×5 inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, stir pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins.  Stir in nuts and raisins.  Divide batter evenly between 8 inch pans or pour into 9 inch pan.

3. Bake 8 inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes.  9 inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hours 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack.

4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 2 hours before slicing.  Wrap lightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Pumpkin Bread

Want a slice of Pumpkin Bread? 🙂

There were a few modifications or choices I made.  One was that I used whole wheat flour but you could use all purpose flour.  Second is that I used dried cranberries instead of raisins since I didn’t have any.  As for coarsely chopped nuts, I used pecans. I’m pretty sure vanilla meant vanilla extract.

Making bread in general is pretty straight forward.  Its just combining all the ingredients together and then putting in the oven.  The only deal is that oven time usually takes longer than say making cookies so you’d need to expect a bit longer, especially for cool down before serving as well.

This Pumpkin Bread recipe is totally worth it though. Its super delicious.  The nuts and cranberries give it a nice complement to the taste and makes it a little more chewy.  Its smells good and it looks fantastic as well 🙂 I’d definitely do this again!

Do you like Pumpkin bread? What type of bread do you like to make/eat?





I’m finally back with more baked goods! I’ve been taking a break after the whole holiday baking frenzy.  Now I’m ready to get back to business with that…

First up we have SHORTBREAD.  I had wanted to do them for Christmas but decided to do Gingerbread Cookies instead.  So here we are with these wonderful cookies.


SHORTBREAD (from the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies (I got about 18 cookies!)


3/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp almond extract

1. Heat oven to 350F.  In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed.  Stir in flour and almond extract.

2. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares with knife or cut with 1 1/2 inch cookie cutters.  On ungreased cookie sheet, place squares or shapes about 1 inch apart.

3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely about 30 minutes.


First batch out of the oven!

The dough will turn out to be on the crumbly side.  I wonder if thats normal because I had that same situation with another recipe, the Peppermint Swirls,  with the same type of texture. You can click HERE for that recipe if you’re interested. I didn’t want to use food coloring to decorate it since it was just for fun.  If I do a batch with it in a more decorative way, I’ll post it up in an update!


The texture was crumbly and delicious.  The taste was perfect.  Both my mom and my boyfriend enjoyed them a lot.  These may not have turned out super pretty and colourful but it still was quite tasty.  Definitely something fun to try out!

Do you like shortbread? Are there any ways to make it less crumbly for the dough, maybe with more butter? Any ideas? Do you have another recipe that differs from this one? Feel free to share the link or suggest it! My mom seems to like shortbread a lot so I’m searching for the perfect recipe.

Christmas Baking: Gingerbread Cookies

I have mentioned it before on multiple occasions that I am crazy about baking with GINGER.  So of course, gingerbread cookies was a no brainer for me.  Its almost an annual tradition that I explore different recipes until I find the perfect one.   This year, I am proud to announce, I am 90% sure that I have found it!

On top of that, when I went to Plattsburgh last weekend, I managed to find some super cute Christmas cookie cutters.

These are the awesome Gingerbread cookies! Festive, right?


GINGERBREAD COOKIES (from Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook)

makes about 2 1/2 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies (mine varied because they all were different sizes)


1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups full-flavor molasses

2/3 cup cold water

7 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water with electric mixer on medium speed.  Stir in remaining cookie ingredients.  Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours until firm.

2. Heat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.  roll one fourth of dough at a time 1/4 inch thick on floured surface.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until no identation remains when touched.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.


I apologize to the crippled Gingerbread Girl..very unfortunate that she is not only bitten but I crushed her leg by mistake.

I actually did quite a few things different for this one.  First of all, I ran out of brown sugar so we improvised with half brown and half granulated.  Also, I used 6 cups of flour instead of 7. It was already getting really hard to mix it in, so we stopped at 6 cups instead.  This year, I really tried to find allspice and cloves but they didn’t have it.  Someone actually knows where to find them? Are they under another name? So as usual I replaced it with 1 tsp nutmeg.

This recipe came with decorator’s icing but I didn’t do it.  However if anyone is interested in getting that part, just comment below or send me an email and I’ll forward it to you.

Are gingerbread cookies a tradition for you during Christmas? Like the cookie cutters?  Anyone else making gingerbread cookies?


I’m back with more Christmas baking! Anyone down for some snickerdoodles?

Just the name itself is PURE AWESOMENESS, right? I ended up with exactly as they predicted, about 4 dozen.


Almost all Christmas cookbooks include a Snickerdoodle recipe.  The one I used was from Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook.


1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon



1) Heat oven to 400F .  In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon.  Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

2) Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls.  In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon.  Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 2 inches apart.

3) Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set, immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.


As usual, I change it a bit to my own needs.  First of all, I don’t eat cream of tartar so I omitted that.  I use margarine instead of butter and also I learned that an electric mixer usually leads to a better mixture especially when shortening and butter/margarine is in the picture.  Its a personal preference.  Also, I did a guesstimate on the cinnamon-sugar mixture, but more on the sugar portion because I had already put the measuring cup to wash in the sink.

They turned out amazing.  Seriously, look at them.  I did almost equal size cookies and they came out to 3.5 dozen cookies.  In the book, they expect about 4 dozens, so I’d say I’m spot on.  The taste and texture is really good.  If you don’t like too much sweets, then ton down the cinnamon-sugar mix so that the coating will lessen on the sweet taste.  I  had to do this in two batches and my second batch was less sweet because I had done that but it still tasted pretty awesome.

These are perfect for the holiday season! |They take about 10 minutes in the oven and prep work is quick.  Plus, the taste is delicious.

Have you ever made/tried snickerdoodles? Do you like them? Will you be making any this year?