Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cinnamon-Bun Zucchini Bread

Here is yet another way to incorporate zucchini in with your baking.  It really is one of my most favorite vegetables because of it's versatility.  Zucchini has very little taste by itself, but once you add it into something else it can just take on whatever other flavors its with.  And usually, by the end of my zucchini plants short lives, I have those last couple left on the counter.  You know how it is when you have exhausted yourself on eating something and you get to the point where you could "almost" let them go to waste.  Well, that's when I whip a couple loaves of this and hand them out to my family and friends.  Why let something so good, so easy and so good for you go to waste?

For Bread:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of ground nutmeg
2 eggs (beaten)
2 cups of sugar
2 cups (1 large) zucchini (grated)
1/2 cup of canola oil

For Cinnamon-Bun Crust:
1/3 cup of real unsalted butter
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1/2 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1/4 tsp. of real vanilla extract

-Preheat your oven to 350*.  Grease the bottoms and 1/2 way up the sides of 2 loaf pans.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg; create a well in the center (a big hole all the way down to the center of the bowl) and set aside.  In another large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar, zucchini and oil.  Pour this all at once into the well of the flour mixture; mix well and quickly just until combined.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into each of the greased loaf pans; set aside.  For the crusting, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add in the cinnamon and the brown sugar and bring to a boil while stirring continuously.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the top of each of the zucchini bread batters.  Using the end of a spoon (I used a chop stick), swirl the batter around the top and into the batter some (this will help combine them so it doesn't just fall off the top when you're eating it).  Bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on the stove top for about 10-20 minutes, then flip out over saran wrap and wrap each loaf with 2 layers.  If you can, let it sit over night before slicing and serving.  If you can't wait, slice it up, but remember to quickly wrap up the remainder still to lock in the moisture.  Serves 8.  Enjoy!