Tis the season to be jolly. That is the saying, right?
Well, if that’s the saying, then why isn’t there more jolly people in the world this time of year? Is it the fact that you have to brave the crowds for a gift that the manufacturer only made 50 of? Or, is it because you were patiently waiting for a parking spot, with your blinker on clearly claiming the spot yours, when someone swoops in and takes it from you? Maybe it’s all the shoppers talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to where they’re walking, running right into you without so much as an apology. Could it be the rude shopper that pushes you out of her way with her cart while you were looking at a shirt, not bothering to say excuse me? Or, is it because your cat won’t stop ringing the bell on your Christmas tree at night while you’re trying to sleep and you wake up groggy and sleep deprived?
I have good news, friends. There’s no need to go out into the wilderness and brave the elements when you can give the gift of food. Instead of buying holiday gifts, bake them. My mom and I decided to make and give homemade treats for the holidays. No braving the crowds, finding parking spots, or being run into by chatty Cathy. We’re going to relax in the comforts of our own homes in our penguin pjs while we sip hot cocoa and whip up chocolate dipped rice krispie treats and mini bread loaves.
Hodgson Mill contacted me a few months ago and asked if I’d like to participate in their “Have a Grain Holiday” recipe contest. I couldn’t refuse a chance to be creative and bake up something delicious to give as gifts for the holidays, so of course I said yes. I decided to bake mini loaves of pumpkin orange bread studded with tons of creamy chocolate chips and topped with an orange glaze.
These mini loaves are an adaptation of my pumpkin banana bread recipe, and they are amazing. Not only are they delicious, they’re healthy too. I used Hodgson Mill’s whole wheat flour and some Greek yogurt to give the recipe a healthy boost.
I really enjoyed using Hodgson Mill’s whole grain flour products. Each bag of their whole wheat flour is stone ground to preserve nutrients and taste. When you open up a bag of their whole wheat flour, you can see the bits of natural grain running throughout in various shades of tan. I decided to use their whole wheat flour and loved the toasted nutty flavor it added to these little loaves.
After making these loaves and giving a few of them away, I toasted the remaining slices for breakfast and added a smear of pumpkin butter for good measure. Talk about delicious!
I’m going to trim these loaves with ribbon and gift them to family and friends for the holidays. What says happy holidays better than a gift made from your own kitchen?
Hodgson Mill’s was nice enough to provide me with a $25 gift pack full of their stone ground, natural grain products to give away to one of my lucky readers!
This giveaway is for one $25 Hodgson Mill product packs, including free shipping directly to your door! The giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from Friday, December 7th to 6:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 12th. The winner will be chosen by random draw. I will notify the winner by email and they will have two days to respond before another winner is chosen.
To Enter: Leave a comment telling me what you would make with your Hodgson Mill whole grain products.
For additional entries:
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Leave me a separate comment for each entry. That’s 8 chances to win!
Click here to receive a printable Hodgson Mill coupon for $1 off on any flour or cornmeal product. Hodgson Mill is also doing a holiday gift pack sweepstakes. Click here to sign up for a chance to win, but hurry, the contest ends on December 9th, 2012.
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour (I used Hodgson Mill)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp. orange zest (approximately the zest of 2 oranges)
- 1 15oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbs. melted butter
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice (approximately the juice of 1 orange)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 2 tbs. orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and Greek yogurt. Add the orange juice, orange zest, and melted butter. Whisk to combine. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf or mini loaf pans. If you’re using a large loaf pan, bake for 50-60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you’re using a mini loaf pan, bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes before. After removing, allow the loaf/loaves to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth. If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add a touch more orange juice.
- Drizzle the glaze over the warm loaf/loaves. Serve.