Life has finally settled down a bit after our fairly chaotic past month. My arm is still in a cast after breaking my wrist and will be for another few weeks. I can now use the fingers on my casted arm however, so I am getting around the kitchen much easier. Although I will always miss my sweet pup of eight years who was put to sleep a couple of weeks ago, in his honor, I have brought a new puppy into the house named Zoe. She is a lively, lovable little thing, and though she will never replace Luca, she keeps me busy and I am thoroughly enjoying having a new puppy in the house. I had planned on taking this entire week off from the blog but it is just too hard to stay away sometimes, so here I am posting a new recipe despite my good intentions to remain “unplugged” this week. For most of the week, I spent lots of quality time with Zoe, and even managed to get all of my holiday decorations completed including decorating our fourteen foot Christmas tree. I also did a little baking with my new furry little friend underfoot, as the holidays are quickly approaching and in just a few weeks I’ll have a house full of hungry family members here.
Before the holidays begin, I always like to fill my freezer with casseroles, baked pasta dishes, quick loaves, and muffins, along with the dozens of holiday cookies I make every year so that when my family are here I can spend time with them and not be stuck in the kitchen all week. I already have a pumpkin loaf and some apple muffins in the freezer, and this week I added a couple of loaves that combined pears, dark chocolate, and walnuts. Pears and chocolate are a perfect combination, and I added walnuts for added texture. These loaves include olive oil and yogurt which helps to make them very moist, and I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half all-purpose flour to improve the nutritional value. I used fat-free Greek yogurt, but any plain whole milk yogurt will work fine. These loaves keep well if wrapped in foil (refrigerate for more than 2 days), and in fact, develop more flavor and become even moister after a day or so, and freeze beautifully.
Deborah Mele 2015
- 1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 6 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Fat-free Greek Yogurt (Or Plain Whole Milk Yogurt)
- 1 Cup Light Olive Oil
- 3 Pears, Peeled, Cored, & Cut Into Small Dice
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Cut Into Small Pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray two 8x4 inch loaf pans with baking spray.
- In one bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until blended.
- Add the yogurt and oil, and whisk until mixed.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir just until no flour is visible.
- Stir in the pear, walnuts, and chocolate, reserving a spoonful of the pears and chocolate to use as a topping.
- Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then arrange the reserved pears and chocolate on top of the loaves.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
- Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of each pan.
- Turn the loaves out of the pans and continue to cool to room temperature.
- Slice and enjoy!