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Monday, September 8, 2008

Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Butter Glaze

Apparently my recipe for Chocolate Zucchini bread that I posted a while back has begun to gain some new popularity lately. Which of course caused me to have some cravings for Zucchini bread. Add that to the fact that I bought four zucchini at the market this weekend and I knew I was going to have to make some bread.

However, I found a recipe for Zucchini cupcakes and thought I would give that a try at the last minute.

I think I may have found a new recipe for plain old Zucchini bread in the process. Let me explain. My grandmother's recipe is for a chocolate bread. These cupcakes have no chocolate whatsoever in them. Which is what I like. While I constantly get compliments on my grandmother's recipe I always find it to be too chocolatey. I plan on trying these cupcakes into a bread but in cupcake form they are delicious. Jam packed full of flavor and extremely moist. They would be wonderful as a muffin too.

Actually, my kids preferred them that way as well. I felt that the Caramel Butter Frosting overpowered the cupcake flavor so next time it's just bread or muffins for this recipe.

But what a way, to start back my cupcake sales!


Zucchini Cupcakes

3 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 vegetable oil
1/2 orange juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

Caramel Butter Frosting
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and extract. Combine dry ingredients; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Add zucchini and mix well.

Fill cupcake wrappers two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before frosting.

For frosting, combine brown sugar, butter and milk in saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool to lukewarm.

Graudally beat in confectioner's sugar until frosting is desired consistency. Frost. Yields 2 dozen.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A bit of Fall? Or Summer?

I have mentioned before what a sucker I am for those grocery store recipe books that line the checkout stands. I did finally break down and buy a subscription to the Pillsbury publication and love when it comes in the mail.

About two weeks ago I received the September issue in the mail entitled "Fall Baking". I had a small dinner party coming up and while flipping through I found a recipe for Berry Peach Cobbler. The thing is that all the fruit and berries it uses are in season at the market in the late summer here so I thought it would be perfect for my dinner party.

Man, was I right!

Simply decadent. It was the hit of the dinner party and I have since made it again (for Labor Day dessert). but instead of the raspberries I substituted strawberries. Again, I don't think you could go wrong substituting any fruit your heart desires in here. Instead of placing this all in one casserole dish to bake I used individual ramekins and baked for 30 minutes. I also served with a small 1 inch scoop of Breyer's Vanilla Lactose Free Ice Cream.

The recipe follows. Try it. Trust me, you'll thank me later!

Berry-Peach Cobbler

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon decorator sugar crystals, if desired

Fruit Mixture:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
3 medium peaches peeled, sliced
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2 -quart glass casserole with butter or cooking spray.

In medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. (The flour and sugar that is called for in the biscuit section). Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until combined; set aside.

In 2 1/2 quart saucepan, stir together sugar and flour (from fruit mixture section). Stir in blueberries, raspberries, peaches, lemon peel and lemon juice. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Spoon fruit mixture into baking dish.

Immediately, drop biscuit dough by 8 spoonfuls onto hot mixture. Sprinkle sugar crystals over dough.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.