Friday, April 24, 2009

National Zucchini Bread Day: April 25

April 25 is National Zucchini Bread Day, not to be confused with National Zucchini Day which falls on August 8 when the vegetable seems to divide and multiply and take over your vegetable garden. I love zucchini bread and what better way to celebrate than with a wonderful chocolate zucchini bread. When I first started baking 'vegetable' breads, I used to use old coffee tins for baking pans, but that was a long time ago. I usually make my zucchini breads in bundt pans now, and I'm always amazed at the new shapes out there. Of course conventional loaf pans work since it is a bread, after all. Although most recipes say to let the zucchini bread cool, I don't follow that since by the time the aroma has filled my kitchen for an hour, I'm ready. I make short shrift of chocolate zucchini bread, so if you're like me, you'll want to make two or double the recipe, so others get a chance to taste these breads.

A few comments on zucchini. They're called courgettes, marrows (remember Hercule Poirot throwing the marrow over the fence in the opening of The Murder of Roger Acroyd?) and sometimes summer squash (although in my neck of the woods summer squash is a totally different squash).

I couldn't find my recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread since I haven't grown zucchini in several years. The recipe must be stuck in a drawer or tucked into a cookbook somewhere, so I thought I'd see if I can find anything that vaguely resembled it. The Geeky Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe (from What Geeks Eat.. eating and Thinking in Wisconsin) below sounds even better than mine. I'll probably make this one to celebrate National Zucchini Bread Day, and I'll try to remember to save the recipe for Zucchini day in August when the zucchinis are free or close to it.

Geeky Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
1 stick of butter melted (you can add more butter for a moister cake)
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I would leave this out, but that's me)
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pecans (I'll probably use walnuts)
2 medium zucchinis (about 3 cups) grated

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 large loaf pans with parchment.
Combine the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl. Stir well until it is totally combined. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the butter/egg mixture to the flour and stir gently to begin combining. Stop and add the zucchini, chocolate chips, and pecans. Continue to stir to combine all the ingredients but don’t stir too much. Fill the loaf pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean. Start checking at 30 minutes and then add time as needed.

When they are baked let them rest in their pans for 5 minutes and then move the breads out of the pans and onto a rack. Let them cool before slicing (if you can wait). Wrapped well they should last 4-5 days. They freeze well too.

Not content with one recipe, I looked on the Internet for something a bit different. I found this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread recipe on RecipeZaar. Now the fact that this makes 4 loaves means its a zucchini bread after my heart. It's a Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, too, so it's different from the traditional recipes, at least for me, and it looks simple to make.

Amy's Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
6 eggs
4 cups sugar
2 cups oil
4-5 cups shredded zucchini
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon (I might use the cinnamon in this recipe)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 (12 ounce) package miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together eggs, sugar and oil. Add zucchini and remaining ingredients, mixing well. Bake in 4 well-greased loaf pans for about one hour. Freezes well, if there's any left.

I'm glad this 'holiday' falls on a Saturday this year. Lots of time to bake, but I need to shop for zucchinis first.

Eat your veggies, but cover them with chocolate!

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