Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fluffy Zucchini Muffins

Something I find really strange about zucchini is that it is so plentiful in the summer that you can often find people just giving the stuff away. You'll find it on your porch when you come back home from running errands if you aren't careful. But in the winter time buying a tiny zucchini at the grocery store can cost you an arm and a leg. I find this unbalance of supply and demand quite the paradox. I really love zucchini and it kills me to not be able to buy it in the winter months. So I am going to get all I can while the getting is good. And right now, It is Very good. 
My sister is gone on vacation for a week, so she had to have someone go out and pick the garden. I lucked out double and my mom and dad went out and picked the garden and then brought the yumminess to me. It doesn't get much better than that! Fresh picked garden produce delivered right to your door, if you can manage to have someone do it for you, I HIGHLY recommend it. 

The chocolate zucchini bread was a wild success around here. (As you can imagine any sweet bread with chocolate and chocolate chips added to it might be!) But I was wanting to make something a little lighter. While I think the dense texture of the Chocolate Zucchini Bread was delicious and fit the style of the bread perfectly, I really didn't think it would go well as a muffin. So I set out to make a light fluffy zucchini muffin, with a great muffin texture and a spice flavor. 

Fresh Zucchini Muffins
Makes about 12 muffins

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1.5 cups grated zucchini (about 2 small to medium-size zucc’s)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp. baking powder
Cinnamon and sugar for topping (optional - it will crisp the tops of your muffins)
1. Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. In medium bowl, combine grated zucchini, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Stir well to combine, then gently stir into flour mixture. Be careful not to overwork this—it will lead to dense muffins!
3. Fill lined muffin tins about 3/4 of the way up with the batter and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on each. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.

I only put cinnamon sugar as a topping on one pan of muffins (and I tripled the recipe and made three). I don't think it needed the "extra" sugar for taste and I didn't like the way that it made the tops of the muffins extra crispy. 

The ones without the sugar on top turned out a lovely golden and had that great muffin top texture to everyone secretly (or not so secretly) has as their favorite. 

I had some larger zucchinis and some smaller ones. I used the larger ones to bake, because I really like to cook with the smaller tender ones. If you end up in the same situation as me, and you are using large zucchinis to bake, feel free to cut them and then use a spoon to scrape out of the seeds. Like you would a large winter squash. The seeds don't end up grating well and then don't "blend" well into the muffin batter - they just stay seeds.

 I am extremely happy with how these muffins turned out. My 5 year old helped measure the ingredients and bake them. I was nervous that after seeing the zucchini go into the muffins that he wouldn't be too excited about eating them. But I was wrong, he ate them right out of the oven, then for "dessert" last night and again for breakfast this morning. He has even requested that every Tuesday from now on be Muffin Day. That sounds good to me!