This recipe goes back as far as I can remember. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread was always a favorite in my family around the holidays. About 15 years ago or so it turned into a fixture in my diet year-round. My mother would make it and pack it in my lunch, or I’d even snack on it for breakfast. Some things never change. Over time we have improvised with this recipe and turned it into Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, which makes it a little easier to eat on the go.
When my husband and I lived in New York, our friends became our family. A few of our friends especially played the part, as we gathered at least monthly for a 'family dinner' and board games. Those nights are some of my most treasured memories in the city. I would cook up a storm in our apartment's tiny kitchen, our friends would show up with wine, and we laughed into the wee hours of the night over Trivial Pursuit or Taboo.
After our move, I experienced withdrawal from not being able to cook for these friends. I have yet to figure out how to snail-mail them homemade sauces and soups, but I do send them one treat each year. I don’t know if they’ve come to expect it, but each Wednesday or Thursday after Thanksgiving they receive a loaf of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread in the mail, tucked inside a shoebox and wrapped in Christmas paper. This year is no different. Enjoy, ladies!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
(I usually do a double batch of this and use two loaf pans)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (for a double batch, use a whole can of pumpkin)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits (when I do a double batch, I put in one whole bag on nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 cup walnuts, firmly chopped (optional)
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in separate bowl. Add this dry mixture alternating with pumpkin to egg mixture - beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate bits and 3/4 cup walnuts (optional).
Grease bottom of loaf pan (or two if doubling), and pour in mixture. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until done. (Depending on oven - baking time can be 40 - 60 min. Check browning of top of loaf, and stick knife or tooth pick in to see if done. Loaf should be nicely toasted and crisp on top.) Slice into 1-inch slices once cooled. Serve or freeze.