Monday, October 25, 2010

Zucchini Muffins

Fall is here in Central Texas which means a variety of things. The temperatures are falling---highs now are only usually in the 80's and on the glorious mornings they're in the 50's (on the not so glorious mornings, it only gets down to the mid/upper 60's). We get occasional cool fronts. The produce we receive in our CSA box increases. We are still getting lots of warm weather vegetables: cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, and zucchini. These vegetables are actually bigger and tastier than they were during the hot summer months of July/August/September. The cool weather crops are also starting to show up---a variety of greens.

After cooking with zucchini for 5 months now, I get a little weary. By September and October I am frequenting my zucchini in baked goods recipes. My typical zucchini bread recipe has seemed a little too rich than what suits my mood. In my search for a replacement recipe, I discovered these zucchini muffins.

I think these are about the perfect zucchini muffins. They're not overly rich, they're full of flavor, and they have nice add-ins (pecans and dried fruit). I can easily eat 3 of these when they are warm (did I really just admit that?).

This recipe makes 12 if you don't make large muffins (10 if they're larger).

Zucchini Muffins
adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

1 c flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour (or omit and use 1 1/2 c white flour)
3/4 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 c canola oil
1/4 c orange marmalade (optional--I've never used this, but I'm sure it would be good!)
1 t vanilla
1 4-oz zucchini or summer squash, shredded (drain on paper towels if you use the marmalade)
3/4 c dried tart cherries (or raisins or other dried fruit)
1/4 c pecans, chopped

In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, oil, marmalade, vanilla, and zucchini. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir until the batter is smooth and evenly moistened. Stir in the dried fruit and pecans until just mixed. The batter will be stiff.

Spoon the batter into 12 greased standard muffin cups. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until muffins are golden, dry, and springy to touch, 17 - 20 minutes (a tester inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean). Cool for 5 minutes, unmold and eat.

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