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Published October 01, 2009, 12:00 AM

CHEF JEFF — ONE BYTE AT A TIME: Quick Pumpkin Gingerbread

Fall finally has arrived, so it’s not too early to start thinking about what kind of treats you can serve on Halloween — or perhaps Thanksgiving.

Fall finally has arrived, so it’s not too early to start thinking about what kind of treats you can serve on Halloween — or perhaps Thanksgiving.

The following pumpkin gingerbread recipe is a case in point. And stocking up now on the items you will need then can save on holiday baking costs.

Quick Pumpkin Gingerbread

15-ounce package Hodgson Mill whole wheat gingerbread mix

7½ ounces (half a can) solid pack pumpkin

¾ cup orange juice

1 egg

¼ up chopped nuts (optional)

Cream cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-by--inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Beat gingerbread mix, pumpkin, orange juice and egg in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Stir in nuts. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Serve with cream cheese, if desired. Store in refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap. Can be frozen.

Yield: Serves 12.

Grab more food tidbits at the Chef Jeff blog at GrandForksHerald.com.

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