July 22, 2011

Delicious Zucchini Bread (& Free Printable Gift Labels)

I have two favorite zucchini bread recipes.
 
The first is my Grammy's zucchini bread, because it's a nostalgic flavor that reminds me of summer, my grandparents' garden, and melty gooey chocolate chips.  It seems every year that Grammy is making little loaves of delicious zucchini bread for her friends & family, and I'm always thrilled to receive one!  
The second recipe - the one I'm going to share with you today - is from the Baking Illustrated Cookbook (highly recommended!  TT got it for me a few birthdays ago).  It's got a crunchy top with a moist inside - need I say more?  How 'bout "buttery, warm, and chocolately?" Will that do it for you?
It's just so darn good.

Even better when it's all wrapped up in parchment paper & sealed with a cute little label...

 
 and they're free!  (I like to share :)  
If you want to print them, go here & here.

I simply printed them out on package label paper (or you could use sticker paper) & cut them out to make my own sticky labels.  
 
Zucchini Bread
adapted from Baking Illustrated*
1lb zucchini (stems/ends off, skin on, and seeds removed)
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c toasted pecan pieces
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c plain yogurt
2 lg eggs (lightly beaten)
1 T juice from a fresh lemon
6 T butter (salted is fine; great, actually!) melted & cooled
1/2 bag of dark chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven (rack in the middle) to 375.  Then grease & flour-dust :) a loaf pan.  I love using the mini-loaf pans.

2.  Process the zucchini in a food processor w/ 2T of the sugar, pulsing it until it's still chunky (not complete mush!)  Then set the mixture into a mesh strainer (over a bowl) to let all the liquid drain out.
  I let it sit for about an hour in the fridge.  

((I used the drained zucchini juice for Blackberry Zucchini Popscicles))

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda & powder, salt, and nuts.

4.  In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining sugar (1/2c + 2T), the yogurt, eggs, fresh lemon juice, and the melted/cooled butter.

5. Now, Baking Illustrated recommends squeezing out the drained zucchini mixture with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.  I've tried it both ways (once skipping this step, and the next time using the paper towel method), and this step gave much better results!

6.  Now combine the zucchini mixture, the chocolate chips, and the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, until just moistened.  (It's important not to over-mix).  Then scrape the batter out into your loaf pan/s.

7.  Bake about an hour (watching it), until it's golden-brown and it passes the toothpick test.  Rotate it half-way through.  The end result, once allowing it to cool, should be a crunchy outer layer with a rich buttery moist inside.

ENJOY every last bite & share with your friends!
*I've been doing some research on sharing recipes found in cookbooks, and copyright laws, etc.  From what I've learned, lists of ingredients cannot truly be copyrighted, but you can never copy the instructions.  With that said, I'm writing the instructions in my own words & I adapted it slightly.  This recipe is taken from Baking Illustrated.
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