Friday, September 2, 2016

Recipe for Fun Friday - Zucchini Goodness!

For a site that bills itself as a Book/Baking blog, there has been a dearth of recipes lately. Not because I haven't been baking, but mostly because I was posting so many reviews. I posted one yesterday and another will be up either tomorrow or Sunday, but I decided to skip the review that was originally going to be posted here, simply because I gave up on the book. I tried and tried to finish it, but it just felt like a waste of time when I have so many other books in my TBR pile worthy of my attention. 

I used to feel super guilty about not finishing a book, and would usually push myself to finish, even if I didn't enjoy it. Now I have so much to do/read/write/etc that I've started to just cut my losses and move on.

Ah well, at the very least, that leaves time and space for me to post some yummy recipes! I probably should've posted these recipes in the heart of summer, when zucchini was cheap and plentiful, but I'm always a tad bit late to the party. Although the weather's getting cooler and Fall produce is starting to appear at the farmer's market, there's still plenty of zucchini to go around.

First up is a recipe from Laura Childs's Tea Shop Mystery series: Zucchini Quiche, featured in Devonshire Scream. It's fast, tasty, and easily adaptable. I love quiche, but I never make it because I hate making pastry. Love eating it, don't enjoy making it. This recipe circumvents all that with the simple addition of Bisquick mix in the batter. Sounds strange, but I love it!

The cast of characters

Nom Nom Nom
Zucchini Quiche 
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup Bisquick
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cheese, grated (recipe calls for Parmesan; I've used Parmesan, cheddar, dill havarti...all delicious)
1/4 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except zucchini in a bowl. Add zucchini last and stir gently. Pour into a buttered pie pan (recipe calls for 9 inch, I use a 10 inch). Bake about 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Yields 4 servings.

That was our savory selection, next up is sweet. This recipe is from Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. I've said it a million times, but even though it's a flawed series with some flawed recipes, I do love using it as a template for some fun and creative recipes. 

These zucchini cookies are super tasty but need some work; their texture is rather cake-y, which is cool if you like that kind of thing, but I prefer chewy cookies. The original recipe didn't have you wring out the zucchini, and I'm sure all that excess moisture contributed to the texture. I also added a bit more flavoring, since her recipes are usually kind of bland. Also, this is gonna sound crazy, but I didn't care for the chocolate chips. I'm a big chocoholic, but I felt like with all the other flavors going on, the chocolate was unnecessary. Other than that, these cookies were great. They were like individual portions of zucchini bread, and I LOVE zucchini bread. Let me know if draining the zucchini works for you, or if you have any tips on how to make a cookie less cake-y.

Not pretty, but very tasty

Rose's Zucchini Cookies
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 1/2 pound)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (not in the original, but great addition)
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (peeling optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure out the sugars into a large bowl. Add the softened butter and beat until the mixture is nice and fluffy.

Mix in the baking soda and make sure it's evenly distributed. Add the beaten eggs to the bowl, as well as the vanilla extract, and mix everything thoroughly.

Wring out the shredded zucchini to release as much liquid as possible. Measure out 1 1/2 cups zucchini, packed really well. Add it to the bowl and stir it in. 

Add the nuts and chocolate chips, if you're using them, and mix well.

Add the flour in one cup increments, stirring after each addition. When all the flour has been added stirred in, the resulting dough will be quite stiff (I mix everything up in my KitchenAid since it's way too thick to do by hand). 

I always refrigerate my dough for at least an hour (usually overnight), but the original recipe doesn't seem to think that's necessary. I like to let the flavors develop and the dough just sets better, since this is an especially soft dough.

Scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake in a 350 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for two minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: She says 8 dozen, I got 4 dozen. She must make really tiny cookies.


Well, that's all for today! If you try either of these recipes, let me know how it goes. And if you have a favorite zucchini recipe, please share it in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!

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