It's that time of year again...Holiday Baking Extravaganza. Although I do not celebrate Christmas, many of my friends, coworkers, and family members do, so each year I reach deep into my brain; recalling my baking skills, and get to work. The Holiday Baking Extravaganza occurs in two parts; Part 1 is for my coworkers, and Part 2 is for David's family. Today, I am sharing my Part 1 recipe review, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves from Brandy over at the Gluesticks blog.
The best part about holiday baking (other than it makes the entire house smell amazing) is the excuse to try new recipes each year. Baking takes a back seat in my kitchen; stray baked goods pull too strongly on my sweet tooth. However, baking for others lets me experiment without the guilt.
In the past, I slaved away making individual boxes filled with cookies for my coworkers, but this year's gift list grew too big, so I decided to try individual sized dessert loaves; all 16 fit in my oven at one time. After considering my options; gingerbread, spice cake, fruit cake, etc., I landed on pumpkin (I also had homemade pumpkin puree in my freezer).
You can find the recipe here.
I started by greasing the baking pans; one normal baking sheet held five pans.
Note: the recipe indicates it makes 16-18 mini loaves, which is all I ended up with even after doubling the recipe. My mini pans were not mini enough.
I then mixed the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and water in my largest bowl. The recipe simply says "mix", which sometimes indicates combining the old fashioned way; I opted for the hand mixer.
Next, dry ingredients: baking soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and chocolate chips for later.
And that's it! Just mix away and add the chocolate chips and walnuts. I decided against the walnuts; I am a believer that nuts and baked goods should not be best friends, plus, who knows if any of my coworkers have an allergy?
Anyways, back to the chocolate chips...I used this brand; mini and dairy free, and available at my neighborhood grocery store (on the health food aisle).
The final step; baking. Since my mini pans were larger than the recipe, I split the difference in cooking time options, and ended up leaving them in the oven for 30 minutes. I allowed the pans to cool on a cookie rack for a few hours before wrapping them in snowflake bags.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves from Gluesticks
Clarity of Instructions: ✭✭✭
Met Expectations: ✭✭✭
Taste: What?! No taste review? Read on to find out why.
Each category is ranked from 1-4 stars.
This recipe was simple and did not require any special ingredients. If you happened to have everything in your kitchen other than mini chocolate chips, they would turn out just as yummy with either regular chips or any number of other mix-ins.
I always prefer baking with fewer steps as long as nothing important is left out. In this case, I would have prefered more clarity on the size pan the author used, but otherwise, two thumbs up for easy-to-follow instructions.
The final product smelled delicious, and looked perfectly presentable for the office. Yes, Taste is missing a rating, but for good reason. I counted a little too perfectly, so no extra for me; I would feel terrible giving an opinion on something I did not try. However, David licked the bowl with approval, and a few coworkers already commented on the deliciousness.
Look out for my review of Part 2 next week!
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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