I appreciate changing of the seasons and the flavours we associate with different times of the year. With shorter days and chilly evenings, autumn has sneaked up on us. We collectively begin to crave the harvest tastes of apple and pumpkin accented with warming spices. I love a good piece of pumpkin bread or apple pie. They make my kitchen smell heavenly.
A few years ago, pumpkin spice jumped the shark. Starting in September, it floods our grocery store shelves and restaurant menus. The sensory attack doesn’t stop until last week of November with the conclusion of American Thanksgiving. Some products I look forward to every year while others are so bad that I cringe with dismay. Pumpkin Spice Latte continues to puzzle me with its popularity. Why would you want your cup of coffee to taste nothing like coffee? If I want whipped cream, pumpkin, and spices in a calories-laden bite, I would most certainly reach for a slice of pumpkin pie instead. This year, the frenzy has reached a new high. Pumpkin spice latte is now officially, affectionately known as PSL. Feel free to imagine my best eye roll. And I do a really good eye roll.
Of course, there is no reason to be so serious. I admit that I am a sucker for novelty. Following Starbucks’ lead of PSL acronym, one of my treasured shopping find last weekend in Minnesota is PSMM. That stands for Pumpkin Spice M&Ms. I made a special detour to Target just to pick up a few bags. Also found in my suitcase are the following goodies:
- 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target purse
- White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M
- Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M
- Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips
- Justine's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
- root beer schnapps
- Biscoff speculoo spread (crunchy)
- cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn, chilli power, southwest spice blend from Penzeys
I haven’t tear into my little stash of pumpkin spice M&Ms so no report just yet. I satisfied my pumpkin spice cravings in an entirely wholesome and old-fashioned way. I highly recommend Mrs Larkin’s vegan Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries. Yes, unlike PSL, this lovely pumpkin treat is vegan.
I adapted her recipe to make double batch in order to optimize on oven use. In addition to cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, I added ground ginger and cardamom to the spice mix. The moist and tender crumb is the result of pumpkin puree and grapeseed oil. Little pops of sweetness were added by dried cranberries. The breakfast treat was made more wholesome by using 50/50 mix of whole wheat red fife flour and all purpose unbleached flour. Like most pumpkin bread, it keeps well for days and the flavour only improves.
Someone please explain to me why I ought to pay over $5 for a PSL?