Zucchini Part 2

Even after all the zucchini I used yesterday, I still had more left!  And I have this thing about waste…I can’t stand it!  The problem with produce is that it goes bad so quickly that you have to make sure you use it in time…which can be quite a challenge.  With all the wonderful organic produce we get weekly, its constantly a race against the clock.  So rather than whip up another savory dish I decided to cater to my sweet tooth…Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes.

I have made my fair share of zucchini bread.  In fact, it is one of my favorite snacks to bring to my mommy group meetings.  Its healthy, filling and delicious.  Plus, it can serve as a good breakfast nosh or a mid morning treat, perfect for our 10:30 meetings.  But since I have made zucchini bread the last few times we received zucchini in our produce box, I wanted to try something new.  Martha Stewart’s website always offers an array of recipes for whatever you may have on hand.  You just type in the ingredient that you are looking to use and an entire catalog pops up.  So, when I typed in zucchini, I immediately had 62 options to choose from.  Everything from zucchini lasagna to zucchini cookies.  It is a great resource if you are looking for a new recipe to try.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

1 cup packed dark-brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (I used pecans at my husband’s request)

1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

1/3 vegetable oil

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners.  Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix in nuts.

3.  In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).

4.  Divide batter evenly among cups.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.  (I took mine out at 38 minutes, and honestly could have snagged them a little earlier than that…but I think I have a pretty hot oven…so just watch them closely).

5.  Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely.  Meanwhile, make frosting (see recipe below).  Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread frosting on cupcakes.  The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

4 tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter

4 ounces room-temperature bar cream cheese

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

Preparation

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy.  Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 day.

Recipes from marthastewart.com

I am extremely pleased with my new zucchini venture.  I was hesitant about using the pecans because I am not a big fan of nuts in my baked goods, but they were a great addition.  The cream cheese frosting is the best I have ever tasted.  I like it because it is not too sweet.  I will definitely be using it for other recipes that call for cream cheese frosting.

The best part…putting the word zucchini in the title of the cupcakes makes these yummy treats count as a vegetable serving!

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