Tuesday, September 29, 2009

~ Zucchini Bread ~

Lately I have been busying myself getting ready for fall! I can't help but enjoy the cooler weather, watching the leaves change, and of course one of my favorites... decorating for fall!
It's around this time every year that I start digging out my fall and winter recipes! You know the ones?!... Soups, hot dishes, chili, and all sorts of rich, spicy breads and pies!

So, recently, when I was given these huge zucchini's...

I thought what better way to kick off my fall baking then with a nice warm batch of Zucchini Bread.

So in case you want to try a batch yourself, here's the recipe...

3 cups shredded zucchini (2 to 3 medium)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (if desired)
1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8x4-inch) loaf pans or 1 (9x5-inch) loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, stir zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between 8-inch pans or pour into 9-inch pan.
3. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling rack 10 minutes.
4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Cranberry Bread: Omit zucchini, cinnamon, cloves and raisins. Stir in 1/2 cup milk and 2 teaspoons grated orange peel with the oil. Stir 3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) cranberries into batter. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
Pumpkin Bread: Substitute 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) for the zucchini.

To make muffins: Grease bottoms only of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Fill cups about 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly.

Mmmmm, Zucchini Bread! Doesn't it just look yummy?!

Now if you'll excuse me... I'm off to read the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens!

- I'll let you know if I find any good ideas or recipes!


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