Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the shortening and sugar. Cream the mixture until smooth.
Sift the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth. Add the sifted flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, alternately with the buttermilk until all is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Fold in the pecans.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Slice the bread into 1/2-inch slices. Spread the some of the Cream Cheese Frosting between 2 slices and form a sandwich. Slice in half diagonally and place against each other on a serving plate. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar and a sprig of fresh mint.
Yield: 8 servings
PUMPKIN SEED AND CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
With an electric mixer, in a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and milk and mix well. Fold in the pumpkin seeds.
Yield: about 1 cup