Last night his parents brought our little 8-week-old munchkin over for trick-or-treat. Of course that cute baby had plenty of treats to fill his pumpkin (mainly Halloween books that his mommy could read to him and a crisp $5 bill like his great-grandmother Moore years ago always gave her grandpersons when they were young).
But what about the parents who cheerfully toted him all over town in his pea-in-the-pod costume to see admiring grandparents? Didn't that mom and dad deserve a treat also?
Aha, pumpkin recipe time! An untried-from-last-year treasure called out to me, as did some more fresh pureed pumpkin that awaited in my refrigerator. And since Halloween is the season of surprises, what better recipe to try than one for Pumpkin Surprise Loaf, which I first dined on last year at a church gathering? The person who baked it then dispensed the recipe because of popular acclaim.
The surprise is a delightful center of softened cream cheese, sugar, and egg white (using healthy substitutions, of course) surrounded by a top and bottom layer of pumpkin bread.
So when, amid multiple camera flashes, the proud mom and dad delivered their pea-in-the-pod for our viewing, they found a treat tray waiting for them as well--with slices of Pumpkin Surprise Loaf to sustain them for the remainder of the evening while their little one made his Halloween debut.
The loaf--as well as the munchkin--were big hits.
Pumpkin Surprise Loaf
1 cup mashed, pureed pumpkin (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided (I used sugar substitute)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used brown-sugar substitute--only 1/4 cup needed)
4 egg whites, divided
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened (I substituted with Neufchatel)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nonstick 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl mix pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, the brown sugar, 3 of the egg whites, milk, and oil. Add flour, baking powder, pie spice, and salt; stir just until moistened. Set aside. With wire whisk beat cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and the remaining egg white until mixture is well-blemded. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into prepared pan; spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Cover with remaining pumpkin batter. Bake 1 hour or 1 hour 5 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center emerges clean. Run knife or thin spatula around edges of pan to loosen bread; cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely. Makes 1 loaf or 16 servings, 1 slice each.