Editor's note: Sugar Buzz columnist Hannah H. Carroll makes easy dessert recipes, serves them to co-workers and writes about the result.
October demands the flavor of pumpkin, and this is my go-to pumpkin pleaser. This recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread delivers on so many levels. It's delicious. It's easy to make. It's a great fall hostess gift. It works for Halloween and Thanksgiving gatherings.
It's also easy on the waistline. The recipe comes from Cooking Light, which encourages smart eating and healthy living. A slice of the bread is 152 calories, through the dense texture and melty chocolate chips might cause you to doubt that.
Preparation: You have to love a recipe that doesn't require an electric mixer. I make things even easier by using pre-made vanilla pudding (about 1 <00BD> individual cups). The ingredients for the bread are inexpensive, so I like to splurge and get premium chocolate chips. Fortunately, this recipe yields two big loaves of bread. For me, that means one loaf gets to stay at hoth me, where it belongs.
Taste: Chocolate and pumpkin aren't commonly paired, and that's a shame. They complement each other beautifully. This bread does not taste like pumpkin pie -- no heavy spice notes. The subtlety will please a wide range of palates. I like to eat my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread warm with a little reduced-fat cream cheese and a glass of milk. Try it. You can thank me later.
The bottom line: Versatile and delicious, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread easily satisfies a craving for fall flavors.
Hannah's rating: 4.5 stars
Hannah H. Carroll is the assistant features editor for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette, and enjoys making desserts for her family and friends.
Straight from the taster's mouth
"Coffee shops should make it and sell it." Allison Stice, Bluffton reporter (5 stars)
"Pumpkin is one of the best flavors in the world, and chocolate only improves it." Kate Cerve, education reporter (4.5 stars)
"I'm not a fan of pumpkin, but this I like. It's moist, and I like the chocolate chips." Paul Mitchell, editorial assistant (4 stars)
"It kind of tastes like a chocolate chip bagel. I bet it'd be good with cream cheese." Regan McTarsney, copy editor/page designer (3.5 stars)
"Pumpkin isn't too overwhelming, which is a good thing." Juliann Vachon, Beaufort reporter (4 stars)
The samplers: 16 employees of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette
The scale: 1 star = Ewww! 5 stars = Seconds, please!