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Soft and Delicious Zucchini Spice Cookies

Today’s zucchini recipe was created with the assistance of two very handy small appliances. The first is my Salad Shooter. You may recall the commercials for these things several years ago, and their little song: “Salad Shoo-TERRRRR!” The first year that I was faced with massive amounts of zucchini awaiting shredding, I knew that a hand grater was not going to cut it. So, I found a great deal on a Salad Shooter on eBay. I was particularly charmed by this model’s Transformer-like ability to morph into a hand mixer. When you have a kitchen as small as ours, it is important that appliances can do double duty and not take up too much space. For its usefulness, my Salad Shooter/Hand Mixer has earned a coveted spot in a kitchen cabinet, rather than a home in the basement with the secondary appliances.

The other appliance that was of great help in making this recipe was my iPod. I have a little iPod touch that I tend to use mainly while on my treadmill or when drowning out screaming babies on airplanes. As I began to gather the ingredients for my cookies, I noticed that my husband was lightly napping on the couch, lulled to sleep by the gentle drama of the Maury Povich show on TV. I didn’t want to wake him by changing the channel, but I also did not care to listen to the outcome of today’s baby-daddy paternity test while baking. So, I employed the drowning-out capabilities of the iPod and blissfully rocked out some Zucchini Spice Cookies.

I found this recipe online a few years ago when I was undergoing food-allergy testing and had to eliminate many foods from my diet, and then slowly introduce them back in. This recipe is egg-free and can also be made without the nuts. I understand that raisins go well with these, but I don’t do raisins–they remind me of bugs. If you like to eat batter as much as you like to eat the cookies, then this is a good choice; you can lick the bowl or the spoon without worrying about raw-egg cooties. The other thing I like about this recipe is its consistent measurements. Everything is measured by the cup or teaspoon, leading to fewer dishes to wash, and no tragedy if I mix up baking soda and baking powder. I apologize for not giving props to its creator; I could not find the orginal website for this one.

These cookies are puffy and cake-like, almost like a muffin top. The spice flavor is very mild; if you like more zip you may want to increase the nutmeg or add in some ginger. This time, I used white whole-wheat flour, applesauce instead of oil, and mixed in some walnuts. I cool them on newspaper and store them in plastic containers, separated by layers of wax paper so they don’t stick together. I cannot stop eating them, as they are perfect for dessert, for a snack or for breakfast with coffee. I also think they would be fabulous with some Vernor’s ice cream sandwiched between them…

ZUCCHINI SPICE COOKIES

 Ingredients

2 c. brown sugar (ok to use half brown, half regular sugar)

2 c. grated zucchini

1 c. oil

4 c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

1  cup chopped nuts and/or raisins. Good without, too.  Or just top with a nut or raisin.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix wet ingredients and sugar together in one bowl.

Mix dry ingredients in another bowl.  Bit by bit, stir dry ingredients into wet.  Drop by heaping spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes—until bottom edges look golden. (Check at 10 minutes).

Makes approx. 3 dozen, depending on size of cookies.

Click ZUCCHINI SPICE COOKIES for a printable PDF of this recipe.

The Neglectful Gardener Makes Stuffed Zucchini Cups and Oven Zucchini Chips

The main garden, thriving with little care

This summer is cruising by so quickly that I can’t believe that July is almost halfway over!  Many exciting things have been happening in the garden, such as plants inconveniently producing berries and oversized vegetables while we were out of town, and octopus-like weeds popping up everywhere to mock our neglect. We returned home from our cottage a few days ago to find that our beloved raspberries, overripe from not being picked, had become fodder for flies.  Luckily, we caught the zucchini before they developed enough to become self aware.  The weeds continue to grow, since I have been too busy (i.e. lazy) to do anything about them.

The first night back, my husband rooted around and emerged from the garden with a monster zucchini, some semi-normal sized zucchini, several cucumbers, and one single pathetic raspberry.  The decimation of the raspberries saddened me, because our homemade raspberry jam is one of my favorite treats from our garden. I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to make it this year.  However, I had the foresight to pick and freeze about two cups of raspberries before we left for vacation, so now I am slowly adding to that amount each night as fresh berries ripen.  We should be able to squeak out a few jars of jam, but probably won’t have enough for raspberry pie–another one of my favorites.  Sigh.

I knew that leaving the garden unattended for a long stretch of time wasn’t the most responsible choice, but with temperatures forecasted in the 90s, we sure as heck weren’t going to sit around our sweltering backyard and watch things grow when we could be at a cabin on the lake.  So, we sacrificed raspberry pie for up north.  As my husband said, “You can buy a raspberry pie, but you can’t buy the up north experience.” So true.

The rest of the garden is doing its thing.  The tomato plants are flowering and becoming unwieldy (as we are behind on the staking), and new plants are emerging from last year’s unintentional reseeding.  We’re getting some peppers in, and best of all, we will be having corn on the cob tonight because I actually managed to pick the first two ripe ears before the local wildlife ravaged them!

Corn for dinner tonight!

So now that we are finally able to harvest some stuff, I thought I’d pass along two new zucchini recipes that we tried. The first one successfully used up a monster zucchini.  (I still have one more lurking in my vegetable crisper, awaiting its fate as zucchini bread or spice cookies).

If you like stuffed peppers, this recipe is along the same lines.  In fact, you could stuff them with the filling that you usually use in peppers.  We made the recipe pretty much as directed and thought it was a keeper.

Stuffed zucchini cups

Meat, Tomato and Mozzerella Stuffed Zucchini Cups:

http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/09/recipe-for-meat-tomato-and-mozzarella.html

I think this second one is going to be made on a frequent basis this summer as my go-to savory zucchini recipe.

Zucchini chips

Zucchini Oven Chips

http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001087041,00.html

We whipped this up as an evening snack recently, and it was sooooo good.  Simply slice a normal sized zucchini into chips, dip in milk and a seasoned breadcrumb mixture, and bake the slices in a 425 oven for half an hour on a nonstick baking rack.   I didn’t have breadcrumbs on hand, so I pulverized some Parmesan/garlic croutons in my little food processor to use instead.  Also, it seemed like these would be good with a dip–like the zingy dip served with Bloomin’ Onions at Outback Steakhouse.  Since we were out of horseradish, my husband improvised and came up with his own tasty dip. I’m giving you the closest approximation to his measurements that I can, since he was in mad scientist mode and measured nothing.  So, I suggest starting with minimal spices, tasting it as you go and adjusting accordingly.

Zippy Dip

  • 1/3 cup sour cream (or lite sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup mayo (or lite may0)
  • capful of white vinegar

Approximately 1/4 tsp of each of the following, or to taste:

  • chili powder
  • ground cayenne
  • paprika
  • garlic
  • dried minced onion

Mix sour cream and mayo together.  Add a capful of white vinegar and spices and stir until combined.  Taste, and add another capful of vinegar if you want more zip.  Add more of any spices you desire.  Mix well.  Serve with Zucchini Chips or other veggies.

Click ZIPPY DIP for a printable PDF of this recipe.