Saturday, June 23, 2012

Best Zucchini Bread

I was having a horribly, stressful week last month and so my friend drove all the way to my house just to bring me some zucchini muffins that she had baked that day.  It was love at first bite.  I wanted to eat all the muffins she brought over and not share with my family. ;-)  What I love about this recipe, from Smitten Kitchen, is that it has the perfect blend of spices, dried fruit, nuts and chocolate chips.  I might actually like zucchini bread better than pumpkin and banana bread now. 



Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination of the 3 (optional)

Directions:
First preheat the oven to 350°F.  I decided to make muffins since it's easier for the kids to hold.  This recipe makes 24 muffins...which really isn't enough for a recipe this good. If you choose to bake loaves then liberally grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat 3 eggs with a whisk. My 3-year old is getting pretty good at cracking an egg open. ;-)



Mix in 1 cup of vegetable oil (or you can use olive oil) and 1 3/4 cups sugar.


Then add 2 cups grated zucchini and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.



In a separate bowl, add 3 cups all-purpose flour.



Then add 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.

My kids can be pretty picky.  They're really not into eating dried cranberries and/or raisins.  In fact, when my friend brought her muffins over, my kids loved the muffin, however they made me pick out all the cranberries and raisins.

So rather than add these ingredients to the dry mixture, as Smitten Kitchen does in her recipe, I first stirred the egg mixture into the flour mixture and then divided the batter into two separate bowls.  I added about 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips to one bowl (for the kids) and I added 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of dried cranberries to the other bowl.  I didn't have any raisins, so that's why they didn't get put into this batch.

Next, either put your batter into your loaf pans or put them in muffin tins with paper liners.

Muffins will bake quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.  For the loaves, bake them for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Soooooo yummy!


My kids enjoying their muffins.


My son begging to have a third muffin!  Yes, a third!  I had to break the news to him that he would have to wait until after dinner time. ;-)