Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Feliz Navidad...again

Well, I suppose that Christmas is here again. That year went by quickly. Too quickly. But at least I squeezed in some time for Christmas treats. This year, I added more cookies, chocolate dipped pretzels and pumpkin bread to my holiday repertoire.

The pretzels are half dipped because I didn't want to make a complete mess and they turned out great! I melted about 30 grams of chocolate in the microwave-stirring every 10 seconds until smooth (I melted both semi sweet and white chocolate separately). That was enough to cover 15-20 pretzels each. Then I had a blast with the toppings. After dipping (5 pretzels at a time) and carefully placing on a baking sheet covered with wax paper, I added sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or a drizzle of melted chocolate. Then let set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Mom's Pumpkin Bread

I know this recipe as Mom's Pumpkin Bread, but it may be from a can so please don't sue me if you own it.

My family brought down the bag of pretzels but you can also find them in the international aisle at Jumbo. Mom also brought a can of pumpkin but it's probably easier to make your own puree if your can opener looks like this:

I made a few changes to her recipe - using chai tea in place of water and substituting 1 t. of baking powder for one of baking soda. I also didn't fill up the whole cup of oil and added a little vanilla. Next time I'll toss in a cup of nuts. Here's the resulting recipe:
  • 3 1/3 c. flour (I used mostly sifted wheat flour - but the wheat flour at Coto is nearly like white flour instead of true wheat flour)
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1 can (15oz) pumpkin puree
  • A bit shy of 1 cup oil (I used sunflower)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c. chai tea
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients except sugar and set aside. Mix sugar, eggs, and oil in a super large bowl (see how mine nearly overflowed). Add tea and vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture - add pumpkin last. Mix well. Split batter between 3* floured bread (budin) pans filled 2/3 full. Bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool slightly (15 minutes) and flip out of pan while warm.

*I couldn't fit 3 pans nicely in my tiny oven so I baked in 2 (one was rather large) pans for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Most deliciously served with cream cheese :)

Merry Christmas!


Julia (Color Me Green) said...

ooh i like the idea of using chai tea. was it fresh brewed tea that you let cool before adding?

i've made chocolate covered pretzels before by throwing all the pretzels in the bowl of melted chocolate and stirring till coated. works ok but not as pretty as yours!

PaganAngel said...

Haha! I think the can openers are brilliant! But they do take some getting used to. The pretzels look great! Now if only I could figure out how to make the peanut butter-filled, chocolate dipped ones they have at Trader Joe's...

meag said...

I've been making a lot of chai tea to cool and drink iced during the summer. I love it! My grandma always made completely covered chocolate pretzels but I guess this is my half-assed, 'I don't want to get melted chocolate all over my sweaty self' version.

I was thinking about how much I miss Trader Joe's (despite the lines) when I took my own bags to the grocery store and they gave me a dirty look and wanted an explanation! And I thought, hmm, Trader Joe's used to thank me for this and give me a discount.