Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kitchen Sink Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins are the be-all end-all of ubiquitous summer squash recipes. This recipe is even better because you really can't mess this one up. I like those kind of recipes....hmmm, I should start a ranking system to let y'all know what to expect. I'm getting distracted again.

Anyhoot..THIS recipe is a piece of cake.

1 really big zucchini (or a couple of small ones--about a 1 lb)
2 carrots (totally optional-I had some extra ones laying around)
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled a bit
2 eggs
1/4 c. yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (or whatever spices fit your fancy: all spice, ginger, etc.)
1/4 c. nuts of choice (optional)

1. Shred your zucchini. If you have a food processor hidden in the depths of your cupboard--this would be the time to use it.

2. Put the shredded zucchini on a thin cotton towel (known as flour sack towel). You could use regular paper towels but I find that it tears too easily. Then squeeze the begeezers out of the zucchini to get all the extra water out.

3. Shred carrots if you got them and add them to the bowl. Bonus: It makes for a colorful muffin.

4. Now preheat oven to 357 degrees. You can grease your muffin pans if you like but I'm lazy so I just throw in some muffin papers instead.

5. Now, add in your yogurt and butter to the zucchini bowl. I'm a dummy and didn't realize that I didn't have yogurt in my fridge *before* I started the recipe, so I just used whatever I had on hand. I am lazy (didn't I tell you that already?) and didn't want to measure out the yogurt, so I just used the whole 6 oz container. Told you, you can't really mess this up. I kinda eye ball it here and there.

6. A couple of eggs scrambled and tossed into the zucchini bowl.

7. A squeeze of lemon.

8. A bunch of sugar...no no bugs in my sugar, it's just a piece of vanilla bean.

9.Chop up some nuts if you have them. I didn't, so I took a handful of left over trail mix (which had some nuts) and chopped them up. Great way to get rid of random left over stuff, eh?

10. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and nuts together. It's really important to mix the dry ingredients separately from the wet because it's like magic. As soon as you mix the two, a chemical reaction happens and you want to get it into the oven as soon as possible. If you don't, you get really heavy, dry, and chewy cake. In other words, yuck.

11. As soon as you dump the dry into the wet zucchini mixture, gently *fold* the ingredients together only until there are minimal flour showing. If you have a problem over-mixing (and you know who you are), then count only 10 stirs and stop. You'll get a mess that looks like this:

12. Quickly spoon it into your muffin tins (I use an ice cream scoop)and get it into the oven. You want to fill these muffin tins a generous 4/5ths full. It won't rise too much.

13. Here's a trick. If you don't have enough batter to fill all the muffin tins, just fill the empty ones with some water. It keeps the pans from burning, the heat evenly distributed, and the extra water in the oven helps the muffins stay moist (hate that word: moist. It just sounds gross).

14. Bake between 15-17 minutes. Check with a toothpick for done-ness. If you stick a wooden toothpick into the middle of a muffin and it comes out with nothing sticking to it (except maybe a tiny crumb or two), then it's done.

Eat it warm with some butter spread on top, drizzle with some maple syrup, eat it plain or cold.


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