Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Zucchini Bread

I love the summer. The hotter, the better, especially if I'm lounging in the pool or hanging out in my backyard with a glass of wine in my hand. This month's What's Baking theme is "Bake Your Happy Place." My happy place is my backyard. It's secluded, has a pool, nice flowers, and a huge maple tree hangs overhead for shade. Don't forget the swing and adirondack chairs. The only thing it's lacking is a big beautiful garden. I love vegetables from the garden, but unfortunately I don't have a green thumb. Lucky for me, my cousin does. She has a gorgeous garden in her backyard, and she dropped off a few large zucchinis for us. My Backyard = My Happy Place and since zucchini comes from the backyard, I decided to go with it. I made two loaves of traditional zucchini bread and was thrilled with the results. You can mix it up by adding white chocolate chips, pecans, craisins, or pineapple; the choices are endless This is the perfect treat to enjoy in my happy place, my backyard.

Zucchini Bread
source: adapted from Simply Recipes

2 eggs (beaten)
1 and 1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cup melted butter (cooled)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two loaf pans with nonstick baking spray.
Mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla, zucchini, and melted butter. 
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and mix until combined with a wooden spoon.
Fold in the walnuts and raisins if using.
Divide the batter equally between two loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour (mine was done at 45 minutes, so check around the 40-minute mark). 
Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

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