Tag Archives: pesto

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Well here you go, guys. I submit to you my dutiful pumpkin bread recipe.

And it is pretty darn great if I do say so myself.

The bread is everything you would expect — warm, spicy flavors with a moist, tender texture. But the pesto is what really make this special. It is slightly crunchy from the pumpkin seeds, and a little sweet and slightly tangy from the cranberries. Then there is the zip and kick of the orange juice and zest. You are just not going to believe what it all tastes like together.

I am so in love.

To begin, you need to blend cranberries, pepitas, the zest and juice of an orange, and a little bit of olive oil in a food processor.

If Bing Crosby’s Christmas music had a smell and taste, this would be it. I know that seems like a weird thing to say but I think you will agree once you make it. It’s something about the orange. It just gives the whole thing this warm flavor and smell that is totally amazing. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you decided to just eat all of the pesto by itself on some graham crackers (Dude and I definitely didn’t almost do that) and said to hell with the bread.

But if you do decide to set aside the pesto and go on with the bread, first you will want to stir together your dry ingredients.

My little sous chef may be getting a little full of herself. She kept asking me to taste it and then pointed toward the pantry, demanding that I bring her more “greadients.”

Blend together all of the wet greadients except for the eggs in a mixer until smooth. Once it is well blended, stir in the eggs. Then dump in all of the dry ingredients, and let it come together.

Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. I made the batter all uneven and higher in some places than others, just to enhance the swirled effect once it is sliced. Then dollop on half of the pesto mixture, and swirl it in with a knife.

Now spoon on the remaining bread batter and pesto using the same process.  When it was swirled to my liking, I sort of pressed it all down with the back of my knife just to make sure that the pesto was down in the bread.

I am so excited for this to perfume your whole house like it did mine while it is baking. Incredible. And I apologize if it gets you in a premature Christmas decorating kind of mood.

So check it out, even though it has a lot of flavor going on, it is still delicious to a three year old.

This would be a fantastic bread to serve up for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (this bread + coffee = heaven). It would also be a great way to knock the socks off of your family on Thanksgiving evening for those who aren’t quite ready to step back up to the turkey and dressing leftovers. And if you can’t wait until Thanksgiving, I happen to know it tastes delicious whilst blog writing on a random weekday as well.

Cranberry Pesto Swirled Pumpkin Bread

For the pesto:

1/2 cup roasted, salted pepitas

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 tablespoon orange juice

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

For the bread:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside

In a mixer blend together pumpkin, butter, honey, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.

Stir in eggs.

Fold in dry ingredients.

Spoon half of bread batter into a well greased loaf pan. Swirl in half of pesto mixture.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter and pesto and bake for 1 hour.

Saturday Selections: Sundried Tomato Pesto Rolls (Roll Tide Rolls)

Wooo hoooo!!!

Happy first Saturday of the 2011 college football season ya’ll!!

(Can you tell I am a little bit excited?)

If you are one of my regular readers, welcome back! And if you are just stumbling over here from YourWeeklyPicks.com, then welcome (and good luck)!

So The Hubs said that I shouldn’t use this recipe as my first Saturday Selection. He said it might annoy the people who aren’t Bama fans. But I am too excited to share this one. It is sooooo easy and delicious.  But I promise now, that this is the last Alabama themed snack I will make.

…well…until the Iron Bowl….

….but you Aub’s are gonna get one that day too. K?

And the way I see it is,  if you find that you are the type of person who cheers for a team other than the Tide, you have two options.

1. You can just call these Sundried Tomato Pesto Rolls and ignore the fact that I gave them a cutesy name. (But you have to admit it’s pretty clever huh? The red and white layers….roll tide…and it’s a roll…come on…)


2. You can still call them Roll Tide Rolls, bite into them with anger and violence, and chew them up with an evil snarl on your face. In a lot of ways, it kind of makes more sense to eat something that has been themed after a team other than your own right? Then you can actually say, “We are gonna eat you guys for breakfast!” and mean it.

I promise you this though, no matter which option you go with (because let’s face it, you know you wanna make these, so not making them isn’t really an option) you are gonna love it! They are so good.

The pesto is slightly crunchy from the almonds, and dangles somewhere in between tangy and slightly sweet. And the crescent rolls…well…come on now…refrigerated crescent rolls are quite possibly the most fabulous convenience food ever made. It’s flaky and buttery and soft and crunchy and holy cow get me some of those now!

And one of the best things about this recipe is that it is all do-ahead. You can make the pesto up to a week before, and the rolls can be made as early as the night before. Just wrap some plastic wrap around the muffin tin and leave it in the fridge until you are ready for some tasty football watchin’ treats.

First off you make your pesto.

Don’t worry. It is totally quick and painless, I promise.

I have made things very easy for you. I understand you have football watching to do.

Simply toss a jar of sundried tomatoes (with the oil), almonds, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper into your food processor. Let it go for a couple of minutes and voila! You just made sundried tomato pesto.

Feel free to brag to all of your friends.

Now that that is done, it is time to get to those crescent rolls.

Pop them out of the can and roll them out onto a floured surface and pinch together all of the little perforations.

If I hadn’t known that The Dude was saying “pinch pinch pinch” to herself, I would have thought she was saying something else….good thing no one else walked in right then, she might have gotten in trouble.

Next gently roll it with a rolling pin just to make sure you got it all in one solid piece.

Then The Dude got kind of strange. I’m not sure why but I swear the whole time she had the rolling pin she was whispering “Roll tide roll. Roll tide roll.” to herself over and over. It sounded like a little chant.

My kid is weird. She must get that from The Hubs.

Now dot on about 6 tablespoons of the pesto, and spread them out with a knife.

Then, fill in any bald spots you have on the dough. Except for a little border, you want it to be totally covered. I would say I probably put on another tablespoon worth of pesto this way.

Now sprinkle on the mozzarella, and gently press it into the pesto.

And start rolling it up lengthwise.

(P.S. If anybody out there wants to buy me a manicure and then watch my kids while I go get it done, that would be great. Thanks.)

Cut off the ends and then cut it into six even pieces. You can see I scored mine ahead of time because I am not so good with the even piece thing.

Now, you can certainly throw away the little end pieces that you cut off, but I hated to do that (shocking, I know) so I actually threw them into a mini muffin pan and baked them up too. The “Little Roll Tide Rolls” actually ended up being The Dude’s favorite pieces. If you do cook these up, they will bake for 11 minutes.

The regular sized ones bake for 20 minutes. Then they are ready to serve warm out of the oven, or at room temperature. Delicious both ways!

Just promise me you won’t throw them at the TV if your team makes a bad play.

Roll Tide Rolls

makes 12 rolls

8.5 oz jar sundried tomatoes (do not drain)

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 8 oz tubes refrigerated crescent roll dough

1 1/2 cups finely shredded mozzarella (divided)

In a food processor combine tomatoes, almonds, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350.

Press out crescent roll triangles on a lightly floured surface into one rectangular piece by pinching together the perforations, and rolling with rolling pin.

Spoon 6 tablespoons pesto onto crescent rolls, and spread out with a knife. Fill in any blank spots with more pesto (about 1 tablespoon).

Sprinkle on 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and gently press into pesto.

Roll up dough lengthwise, pinching any tears in the dough as you go.

Cut off the ends of the roll, cut into six even pieces, and place them in the muffin tin.

Repeat whole process with the second can of crescent rolls.

Bake for 20 minutes.

May be served warm or room temperature.