Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Streusel Loaf

Nary a day passes without my thinking about blogging. One would never know, considering that my half-year silences grow ever my frequent. Yet, I do think, and I have stayed quiet. Sometimes it's just a matter of will to start the fingers typing and maybe, just maybe, inspiration hits.

Autumn flies by. Leaves turn russet, auburn and golden. Pumpkins proliferate. I love this season, and I couldn't let it escape without a new recipe. Three operative words: CHOCOLATE CHIP STREUSEL.

I am sure most of you have some sort of go-to pumpkin bread ideal, whether it's your homemade or store-bought treat. I love me a good streusel and the topping, combined with a chocolatey interior ribbon, won a definite place in my standard baking repertoire.

I tried five iterations of it and settled on this version. I like my streusel with some body to it and so I added flour and a little more butter to the topping; the original recipe was too crumbly.

slightly altered from NYTimes, Melissa Clark

For the streusel:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cold butter, divided
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 teaspoons flour

For the cake:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
½ cup pumpkin
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350º. Grease and flour a nonstick 9-inch loaf pan. (Or, if the pan is not nonstick, line with parchment paper and butter the paper.)

Prepare the streusel: In a bowl, combine the brown sugars, nuts, cinnamon and ginger. Cut in 1/2 tablespoon butter with pastry blender or your fingers until mixture is crumbly. Divide the mixture in half and add the chocolate chips to one half. To the other half, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and 4 teaspoons flour and set this aside for the topping.

For the cake: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugars and oil until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Spoon ⅔ of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chip streusel over the batter, not allowing streusel to touch sides of pan. Top with remaining batter. Make sure batter layer touches edges of pan. Sprinkle remaining streusel on the top.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until wood pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Untold and cool completely.


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