Saturday, October 22, 2016

Our Halloween Theme Begins: Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Loaf #recipe #Halloween @Abbottmysteries

By Victoria Abbott (aka Mary Jane Maffini)

Halloween is almost here! We at Mystery Lovers Kitchen have many different ways of celebrating this annual spooktacular event. Some of us love the scary stuff, some like the creepy stuff, some of us love the sweet stuff.  As for me, I love it all. I love the jack-o-lanterns, the treats and the sight of small dogs in costumes. 

And don't we all love pumpkins?

But the sad reality is (Get out your hankies, friends!) that on our street, dark, windblown and streaked with leaves, there are very few children and quite a few fast cars. More and more young families go to Halloween parties or only visit a few friends.  So Halloween means setting out the jack-o-lanterns and answering the door to the five or six tiny adorable kiddos and their shivering parents and more about getting in the spirit of the event.  That leaves us with about 200 remaining Reese’s Pieces packages that will cause MJ’s waistband to ‘shrink.   Sigh. When will we learn?
But why despair? I think it’s all about eating treats and wearing costumes. Do any of us ever need a really good excuse to wear a costume?  

This recipe is perfect for anyone who gets few or no kiddos at the door for whatever reason, who doesn’t like spooky foods but who loves relaxing with a seasonal treat, a cup of tea and a good book.  You could serve it to friends or shivering parents at the door with their little goblins.

 It’s also something that can be frozen and keep the goodies coming for the rest of the season.

Please give a big hand to our guest treat today:

 Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Loaf!

2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 14 ounce can of pure pumpkin, not pie filling
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup vegetable oil (we used Mazola)
4 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 cup dark chocolate (70 % cocoa), coarsely chopped
Parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease two loaf pans and cut two pieces of parchment paper the width of the pans and long enough to give ‘handles’ at each end of each loaf pan.
Mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and baking soda in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and eggs until well mixed.
Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Don’t over mix.

Add the chocolate chunks.  
Place parchment paper in loaf pans. Divide batter evenly between the pans. 

 Smooth the top.
Bake for sixty minutes.  Use a cake tester to ensure that it’s baked through, but don’t overbake.

Let the loaves cool and then remove to racks.  These freeze really well and can be a welcome treat with unexpected ghouls, I mean guests.

Dust with icing sugar if you like or serve with ice cream.  We like them as is and the slices are better on the second day. How spooky is that?

So however you're enjoying Halloween,   have lots of fun and be careful, because you know, there's stuff out there.

And if you want some chills and thrills on the comfort of your couch or reading chair,  try our newest book collector mystery, The Hammett Hex.  We had fun with that book and we think the result is a sweetly scary read.  Come and visit us on Facebook!  CLICK HERE

If you don't have The Hammett Hex yet,  here's your chance:

 CLICK HERE or ask your favorite booksellter




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  2. Very few trick or treaters come down our street too MJ/Victoria, so there's plenty of Halloween treats left for me, too! A great Halloween recipe, and the dark chocolate and pumpkin makes it healthier, right? Love the witches' hats on the two of YOU, but I adore the hats on Daisy and Lily!! (Sorry too many typos the first time, trying again!)

    1. Thanks! The pooches say that you are now their favourite person. Thanks for catching that mistake. Hugs. MJ

  3. A quick question: shouldn't the oven temperature be 350 instead of 250F? It seems too low to me...and yes, I am planning to make this recipe this weekend!

    1. Thank you, Grace! That's what happens when typing up a recipe when you're in bed with a cold. It should be 350 F. I owe you! Hugs. MJ

    2. No problem, MJ. I made the loaves this morning at 350F before seeing your corrections. They look and taste delish! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Love all the photos! You two are a stitch! ~ Daryl

    1. Thanks, Daryl! We are great admirers of your photography. We can just be silly. Hugs. MJ

  5. Love your jack-o-lantern faces.
    And, of course, doxies in costumes. They are so cute and patient.

    Dark chocolate chunks added to almost anything is a winner to me!

    I love to see the kids' come by in costume.

    1. And your dual (not to be confused with "dueling") witches picture.

    2. I just cant stop!

      The newest book is terrific! I zipped through it. That's the good news and the bad news. Good because I was enjoying it so much. Bad because now I have to wait for the next one!

  6. Yesterday I made the pumpkin bars with the cream cheese frosting. Gobbled up. Now add chocolate? I think the wheat flour probably makes it a diet food, right? We also live on a street with few trick-or-treaters: houses only on one side so hardly worth it ;) and my closest neighbors work hard to make their house dark and uninviting. So of course we go overboard the other way. Love to see the little ones.

  7. ThIs was quite an enjoyable post! I am only up to book 3 of the Book Collector series. So much reading. So little time!