Honestly, to me, nothing says the holiday season more than the smell of baking zucchini bread filling the house. For those of you out there who have never had the pleasure of trying a slice of zucchini bread, let me tell about what you’ve been missing. I know that zucchini and dessert don’t necessarily make sense together…in my experience, zucchini is one of those random vegetables that restaurants tend to serve alongside something amazing; they mix it with some other less than desirable vegetables, toss some pan sauce over it, and call it an “accompaniment”. Well, that is nothing like the glorious baked good that is zucchini bread. When you shred zucchini in the food processor, it becomes moist and delicious. When you mix it with Bisquick and bake it with just the right amount of seasonal spices, it becomes truly magical. During November and December, I can remember my mother spending an entire afternoon baking multiple loaves of zucchini bread, which she would then cover with plastic wrap, tie with a big red bow, and give out as Christmas presents to family friends. It was the kind of gift that people really waited for and expected each year, because it’s something that everyone loves, whether or not they have a taste for zucchini. You can serve the bread as a dessert, but it’s really best when you warm it up in the microwave, put a little butter on top, and have it for breakfast. It’s the best way to start a cold winter day.
Before this year, I’d only attempted to make the loaf version, but I wanted to switch it up and see how zucchini muffins would come out. I decided to try making both regular size and mini muffins, and although they both came out wonderfully, the mini muffins don’t get the beautiful, crusty brown top after baking (which then becomes amazingly moist and extra yummy when you warm it back up again). When I make this recipe again, I’ll probably skip the mini muffins and stick with loaves and large muffins. The recipe below yields one of the following:
1 large loaf
24 regular size muffins
64 mini muffins
Whenever I buy a package of zucchini, I’m always able to get enough for two batches, so I always double this recipe and then I can make two loaves, or one loaf and 24 regular size muffins. Feel free to do as you please, but it’s totally fine to double, triple, or do even more if you have a large enough bowl, without any issues.
2 cups (360 grams) Bisquick [960 calories]
1 ½ cups shredded zucchini (about 1 ½ large or 2 medium-size zucchinis)
¼ cup vegetable oil [480 calories]
¾ cup (144 grams) white granulated sugar [540 calories]
2 teaspoons (8 grams) ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground nutmeg
½ cup chopped nuts [425 calories] (we chose pecans, but pretty much any nut can be used)
3 large eggs [210 calories]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Makes 1 large loaf, or 24 large muffins, or 64 mini muffins
Calories per serving: 260 (per slice, for 10-slice loaf), 110 (per muffin), and 40 (per mini muffin)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Shred the zucchini using a food processor. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, Bisquick, oil, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts, eggs, and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer, blend ingredients on low for 30 seconds, then increase the blender speed to medium and blend for 1 minute.
Grease only the bottom of a loaf pan, if making a loaf. If making muffins, grease/coat entire pan with baking spray, or line with cupcake liners. Baking instructions are as follows:
Loaf: Bake for ~ 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Large Muffins:Bake for 30 minutes, check for doneness, and if still mushy in the middle, add about 3 more minutes to the baking time.
Mini Muffins: Bake for 15 minutes
Allow loaf/muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a cooling rack, then carefully remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on the rack. Store wrapped in plastic or in an airtight container; the moistness of the bread/muffins definitely improves overnight.
This is a recipe straight from my mother, so I don’t know the original origin of it…maybe Bisquick?