Pumpkin chocolate bread

This bread is a welcome holiday season treat for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert. You can make tinier versions in small disposable containers and give them as holiday gifts. (Noel Barnhurst/TMS photo / September 8, 2013)

3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Butter and flour a 9 x 5-inch nonstick loaf pan.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder and soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a mixing bowl, and stir together.

4. With an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until softened. Add the sugar and continue beating. Add the eggs and beat until well blended. Add the pumpkin, vanilla and the flour mixture, beating just until well blended.

5. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler on medium-high heat until totally melted, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a glass bowl in the microwave for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until completely melted and smooth.

6. Spoon half of the batter into the loaf pan. Drop spoonfuls of half of the chocolate mixture on top of the batter and then swirl the chocolate into the batter with a wooden skewer. Repeat with the remaining batter and chocolate, making sure to swirl the chocolate into the pumpkin well.

7. Bake the loaf for about 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean in the center. Let the loaf cool at least 15 minutes, and then invert onto a wire rack. Serve sliced warm or at room temperature.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Holidays," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

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