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    Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Well, here in Utah, Zucchini season is starting to wind down, but if you grow zucchini, you will have already had sautéed zucchini, breaded zucchini, baked zucchini, fried zucchini, zucchini pasta, zucchini casserole, zucchini bread, and, of course, the oh so fad-tastic zoodles. *shudder* That word is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Anyway, my point is, we can all use more zucchini recipes. Options are a good thing. These cookies are cake like, in texture, with a bit of chew from the oats, warm spices, and plenty of chocolate.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • ½ cup butter (1 stick) – softened
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup grated zucchini
    • 1 cup flour
    • ½ cup whole wheat flour
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon spice mix
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup oats
    • 2 cups chocolate chips 

    Preheat your oven to 350°. Then go ahead and grate your zucchini. I like to just use a box grater. Even though I still make a mess, it’s much easier to clean up than the 87 parts of the food processor.

    There we go. This looks like a lot, but I was doubling the recipe, so just ignore that.

    Now, in your mixing bowl, beat the butter for about a minute, until it’s nice and soft. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed for about two minutes, scraping everything down a time or two in the middle.

    Add the egg.

    Mix until it’s thoroughly incorporated, scraping everything down again, and then add the vanilla.

    When that’s mixed in, add the zucchini. Just a quick note, the zucchini should be room temperature when you grate it, so if you’ve had it in the fridge, make sure you pull it out ahead of time.

    Once the zucchini is incorporated, step away from that for a minute to deal with the dry ingredients.

    Let’s talk spices for a minute. Along with the cinnamon, I used Penzey’s Pie Spice. It’s just a mix of spices. Cinnamon (China, Korintje, Ceylon, Vietnamese), vanilla sugar (sugar, vanilla bean), mace, ginger, nutmeg, anise seed and clove, to be exact. I also added an extra bit of mace, because I just love the stuff. You can really use whatever mix of spices you like, though. Put them into a bowl along with both flours, soda, powder, and salt.

    Give that a good whisk to get rid of any lumps and get everything evenly distributed.

    Now, when you go back to your zucchini mixture, it’s going to look like a swampy mess, but don’t panic. The zucchini just needed to give off some water. 

    Give it a quick stir and then add the dry ingredients. See, everything is fine. 

    Add the oats. I like to use a combination of old fashioned and quick oats, but if you only have one or the other, it will be just fine either way.

    Stir them in. This is going to be unlike a typical cookie dough. It will be more like a thick cake batter in its consistency.

    Add the chocolate chips. I have a couple opinions when it comes to chocolate chips. Firstly, as long as they’re good quality (I like Ghirardelli, but Guittard is also a good brand.) you can never have too many of them. And secondly, in baked goods, a combination of types of chocolate (milk, semisweet, dark, etc.) is always better than using just one. I used milk, dark, semisweet, and mini semisweet. Use whatever combination you like.

    And, one last stir. I like to just use a silicone spatula for this one, and just sort of fold everything together. 

    Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. I would definitely use parchment for these cookies, because they tend to be a bit sticky. My scoop is about 1 ½ Tablespoons, which I think is the perfect size for these cookies.

    Into a 350° oven for 14-15 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll be dry on top and just starting to brown around the edges. And look how lovely they are with their bits of green and loads of chocolate chips.

    Allow them to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

    Here’s a look at that wonderful cakey texture I told you about. They’re soft, chewy, and simply fabulous. I have a feeling even picky eaters will love these. Hubby (who is probably the pickiest eater I know) said they are the best cookies he's ever tasted. 

    Are you sad to see summer coming to an end, or just glad to finally get a break from the heat?


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    Savory Zucchini Bread

    I know, right? Why is savory zucchini bread not a thing? Well, after you’ve tried this recipe, it will be a thing in your house. I guarantee it. (Is it possible to say that now without hearing it in the voice of Donald Trump?)

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 2 cups flour
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1egg
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • ¼ cup cold butter
    • 1 cup grated parmesan or Italian blend
    • 1 Tablespoon dried chives
    • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 small/medium zucchini 

    Prep stuff first. Preheat your oven to 350° and butter a 9x5 loaf pan and set it aside.

    Grate your zucchini. I like to just use a box grater for this. It’s just not worth washing the 84 parts of the food processor.

    Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir them together.

    Cut your cold butter into chunks and add them to the bowl.

    Mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. I think it probably took something like 2 minutes.

    Add the dried herbs and cheese. My grocery store has a freshly grated 3 cheese blend, which I love. It’s a combination of parmigiano reggiano, romano, and asiago cheeses. If you can get your hands on something like that (make sure it’s freshly grated and not the stuff in a green can) it’s perfect. If not, just pick whichever is your favorite. Any of those three will work just fine.

    This is about the time I decided pepper would be a good addition to this recipe, so go ahead and add it now, as well.

    Mix until everything is evenly distributed.

    Now for the liquid stuff. I didn’t see any reason to dirty any unnecessary dishes, so I just cracked my egg into the now empty cheese container.

    Add the buttermilk and give it a good whisk, then pour it over the stuff in the mixing bowl.

    Stir just until it comes together. It’s a bit of a mess, but you don’t want to overmix it.

    Now comes the zucchini. I could almost cram all of mine into a 1 cup measure.

    Dump it into the bowl and stir briefly, once more. Scrape the dough into your prepared loaf pan.

    Spread it to the edges and level it out on top.

    Into the oven for about 70 minutes. When it’s done, it will be nice and golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.  

    Rub or brush the top of the loaf with some softened butter. Allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Well, almost completely. Truth be told, it’s best while it’s just slightly warm. How have I gone my whole life without even hearing of savory zucchini bread. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sweet stuff. I’ve posted both a spicy version and a tangy, fruity version, which are both really delicious, but I’m blown away by how good this savory version is. The outside is definitely the best part, though, so I think next time I’m going to make it as little mini muffins.

    What is your favorite thing to do with zucchini?

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