Saturday, August 29, 2009

Zucchini o'plenty

The CSA farmer offered me as much zucchini as I could carry back to my truck this week. So I grabbed three big squashes that barely fit into my refrigerator crisper. I've got big plans for these babies!

First on my list was baking one of my husband's favorite: zucchini chocolate cake! I found the recipe in an old church cookbook that my mother-in-law sent me. The zucchini makes the snack cake very moist. And how can anyone resist chocolate chips!

Here's the recipe:

Zucchini Chocolate Cake
  • - 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • - 1/2 c. oil
  • - 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • - 2 eggs
  • - 1 tsp. vanilla
  • - 1/2 c. milk
  • - 2-1/2 c. flour
  • - 4 tbsp. cocoa
  • - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • - 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • - 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • - 1/2 tsp. salt
  • - 2 c. peeled, finely chopped zucchini
Mix all ingredients together, except zucchini. Add zucchini last and mix well. Spread in 9x13 greased pan. Mix the following and sprinkle on top:
  • - 1 c. chopped nuts
  • - 1 c. chocolate chips
  • - 1 tbsp. sugar
  • - 2 tbsp. brown sugar
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

I've also got a couple recommendations for the baking ingredients. If you ever are in West Des Moines near Valley West Mall, make a stop at Penzey's spices near Pier 1. I've been using Penzey's cinnamon and Mexican vanilla in my baking, and they are fabulous! They have a very rich aroma, and they make baked goods taste amazing. Also, I discovered Florida Crystals organic sugar at my local Fareway. I don't buy into the organic trend, but this sugar is something special. It's light brown in color, and it tastes more like brown sugar. It gives baked goods a nice caramelized color. Definitely worth the extra price.

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