Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel

Geez, do you think the title is long enough?  I was trying to think of a way to pare it down, but it didn't seem fair to cut out the cream cheese part or the very descriptive streusel part.  That's what makes this pumpkin bread different from your basic, run of the mill (yet still delicious) pumpkin bread.

My mom always made pumpkin bread from, well, as long ago as I can remember.  You knew fall had officially arrived when the first batch was made.  Even when we were too young to help with the baking my sister and I would gather in the kitchen because we knew we would be given one of the beaters to lick.  And I've been obsessed with the stuff ever since.  I'll eat it for breakfast, dessert, dinner, as a snack...

She has made this pumpkin bread so many times that the cookbook she uses is permanently creased and falling apart on the recipe page....splatters of dried batter everywhere.  I love seeing those worn and stained pages almost as much as I love the recipe itself.  It conjures up all kinds of warm and fuzzy childhood memories.

But alas I didn't have that beloved recipe two nights ago when I set out to make some for myself.  So what's a girl to do?   Well, I turned to everyone's good friend Google and sought out every type of pumpkin bread recipe I could find.  I combined aspects of two recipes to come up with my final version below.

I was a little apprehensive about adding all these new things into the bread.  Sure, cream cheese and pecans are great, but did I really want them messing up a classic?

It turns out I did :)  You can definitely omit the cream cheese, pecans or the streusel if you'd like, but you'll be missing out if you do.

I know it's not officially fall yet, but since it's been in the mid-50's here in Georgia a few mornings lately I feel like it's okay to pull out the fall recipes.  Here's to fall.....leaves, football, boots, scarves and PUMPKIN RECIPES!!!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel adapted from A Blissful Bite and Joy of Baking
Printable Version
1/2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C pecans, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
2 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 C sugar
1 egg

3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 C pecans, chopped
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 C sugar
1 C unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
15 oz can pure pumpkin
1/2 C water
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9"x5" loaf pans.

For the streusel:
Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and salt in medium bowl.  Use pastry cutter to cut in cream cheese and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Refrigerate.

For the cream cheese filling:
Beat together all ingredients until smooth.  Set aside.

For the bread:
In large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice.  Whisk well to free any lumps.  Stir in pecans.

In separate bowl whisk eggs until just beaten.  Add sugar and butter and whisk to combine.  Add pumpkin, water and vanilla and whisk together.

Add wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined.  Do not overmix...this will lead to a tough bread.

To assemble:
Divide batter in half.  Distribute one half of batter into bottom of the two pans.  Divide cream cheese filling between two pans, gently spooning it over first layer of pumpkin batter.  Top pans with remaining pumpkin batter.

Remove streusel from fridge and use fingers to crumble it over top of batter.

Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are one wants dry bread!).  Allow bread to cool 10 minutes in pans before removing.

 The streusel makes it...

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