Rich with chocolate chips and pears, this melt-in-your-mouth vegan treat is delicious as a dessert or tea bread. They're especially good with tea as a cool-weather dessert. Easy enough as an everyday dessert, yummy enough for holiday fare (especially around the winter holidays), this might just become your go-to sweet bread.
Makes: 9 to 12 squares, or 3 mini-loaves
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup natural granulated sugar
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened nondairy milk, or as needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ripe pear, any variety, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the first 5 (dry) ingredients.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the applesauce, oil, and nondairy milk. Stir together; add additional nondairy milk if needed for the wet and dry ingredients to blend, but don't overdo it — this should be a slightly stiff batter.
Stir in the diced pear and chocolate chips, then pour the batter into a lightly oiled 9- inch square pan, or three mini-loaf pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and a knife inserted in the center tests clean.
Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into squares, wedges, or slices to serve.