On Friday, we made our very first trip to my family's FAVORITE farm stand. It was bittersweet to enter this charming little market, knowing that in just a month, it will be all closed up. In a typical summer, we visit weekly and cook from the bounty of these expert farmers. But life moves quick, and we've found ourselves 4 weeks past the start of the fresh and local produce of our Midwestern summer.
My boys are pretty good veggie eaters, but when they can put their hands on the produce, fell, study, and smell it - they are more likely to eat it. Next summer, I'll be finding a nook in our new yard to put a garden, but until then, we'll help ourselves to the hard work of others. And without the bounty of zucchini from our community garden plot, we have been zucchini empty handed. A travesty! But my middle guy picked one up and insisted we make his favorite bread.
"It's been FOREVER Mom!"
I agree. But between you and me, I don't think it's the bread or the zucchini he's after. It's the cinnamon brown sugar crust that forms on the top as you slow bake this "quick" bread. And since it's his job to sprinkle it on - you know it's going to be good and thick!
The recipe is from my cooking Bible - The Williams Sonoma Cookbook. When I make this zucchini bread, I cut out 1/3 of the sugar, swap out chocolate chips for the walnuts & plums (technically adding back sugar, but it's DARK chocolate people!) and I do not strain the zucchini to keep the bread super moist!
Not to mention adding the aforementioned cinnamon brown sugar crust. Who's texture will blow.your.mind.
Let's zoom in on that...
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crusted Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)
1 medium zucchini, shredded with the small holes of a box grater (NOT strained)
1 cup canola oil
1 cup Zulka Morena Sugar (or any other non-GMO white sugar...or just plain white sugar too)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crust - makes a large spice jar full
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp organic non-GMO brown sugar (or any brown sugar)
4 tbsp Zulka Morena Sugar (or any white sugar)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep two loaf pans by spraying first with cooking spray, then adding a little bit of flour - dusting the bottom and sides. Shake out the extra flour, then wipe away the cooking spray/flour from the top inch around the pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachement until pale and creamy. Add the shredded zucchini (and any liquid) and stir to combine.
In a seperate bowl, place the flour, baking powder, 3 tsp cinnamon, kosher salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Use a whisk to combine ingredients. Place the mixer on the stir setting, and slowly spoon the flour mixture in until just combined. Scrape down the sides and pulse to combine.
Divide the batter into the two loaf pans. Make the cinnamon brown sugar topping by mixing the ingredients above and placing in an empty spice jar. If you don't have a 7 year old, just remember to shake it on there like one! Bake the loaves side by side for 50-60 minutes. Check for doneness like my Momma and place a butter knife into the center - if it comes out clean (minus any melted chocolate) it's done. If not, pop it back in and recheck every few minutes until it does. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack.