Fall is my favorite season, and one of the tastiest when it comes to baking. I love all of the apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, and spice that flood my favorite coffee shops and cooking blogs once October rolls around. But fall just wouldn’t be fall without my mother’s amazingly delicious zucchini bread. It’s a hearty, sweet bread that sticks to the ribs, as she might say.
2 2â„3 cups sugar
2â„3 cup shortening, margarine, or butter
3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
2â„3 cup water
3 1â„3 cups all-purpose flour (add more if it seems soupy)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1â„2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp vanilla
1â„2 tsp baking powder
2â„3 cup coarsely chopped nuts (if desired)
2â„3 cup chocolate chips or chunks (if desired)
Cream the butter and sugar until it’s nice and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. (Sometimes I like to toss in 1/2 tsp each of ginger and cardamom if I want it a little spicier.) Stir in the shredded zucchini and water to the creamed mixture, then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. Fold in any nuts or chocolate. (You can toss the nuts and chips in flour before folding them in to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread.)
Grease the bottoms of two large or three regular loaf pans. Pour in the batter until it fills up the pans halfway to three quarters full. You can also make them as cupcakes, but keep in mind that they won’t rise very much and will need a shorter cook time!
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for an hour to 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t put them on the bottom shelf of the oven, or the bottoms will get too dark. Let the pans cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before removing them from the pans. Be careful when you remove them, as they have a tendency to stick, especially on the bottoms!
This bread is pretty easy to make, but hard to stop eating! It’s delicious slightly warm with a little butter spread on top. I especially like it with walnuts AND chocolate chips together.
Helpful Hint: Sometimes if the zucchini look really nice in the grocery store, I’ll buy some extras, shred them, and freeze the shredded zucchini in 3-cup increments to use later. Shredding the zucchini is the messiest part of the process, so if I can do a whole bunch at once, it makes it easier the next time I go to make it.