Make, Jane, make!: Zucchini Crumb Cake Muffins


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Friday, July 25, 2014

Zucchini Crumb Cake Muffins

If you've ever tried to leave zucchini on a neighbour's front porch under the cover of darkness, devised methods of handing out zucchini instead of candy at Hallowe'en or considered including zucchini as part of your taxable income calculations, then you've obviously experienced firsthand the awesome productive powers of the zucchini plant. However, despite its bad rap as an unwelcome vegetable gift, I feel indebted to the over-achieving zucchini plant because if it did not bear fruit so copiously, no one may have ever felt compelled to create the wonderfully moist delight that is zucchini bread.

I love zucchini but I've never grown zucchini myself because of the sheer number of zucchini that would be produced, so I'm always glad to see it in our CSA box. Our farm is growing a pale green version that Sue from Round Bend farm tells us is called Deema. The first thing I thought of when I saw the pale green skin was that I could make zucchini bread for the picky eaters in the house who are doubtful when the see flecks of green in their baked goods. 

I've tried many different recipes for zucchini bread but have always leaned towards the fancy-schmancy recipes that have cardamom or summer squash or are savoury instead of sweet. This time around I really wanted a good-old fashioned zucchini bread. So rather than reinvent the wheel, I figured I'd just find a highly rated recipe online.

Of course, as often is the case with me, I failed to follow the recipe to the letter and ended up making some modifications as I went along. The original recipe can be found here (you can't go wrong with a top rated recipe called "Mom's Zucchini Bread") and you can see my modified version below. 

Joking... The zucchini was so large that it could easily have made more two or three batches of bread. So I froze the extra zucchini in one-cup portions for future use in my trusty silicone muffin tray, which I never bake in but use for freezing all the time. Here's a picture of the actual muffins:

Everyone really enjoyed the results and the addition of a crumb topping (which was suggested by more than one reviewer) really does make the thing.

As was expected, the muffins were moist and see... no green flecks for all those people who balk at the thought of vegetables in their sweets.

Okay, maybe there's one green fleck in this picture. But the important thing is that there were no obvious green flecks and the kids were sold on the muffin. So sold in fact, that they now feel that anything with zucchini in it is "safe". Actual conversation between number 2 and 3 today at lunch:

"I don't want the quiche"

"But it will be yummy. It's zucchini quiche, like the zucchini muffins are yummy. The green stuff is zucchini. It's okay, not like broccoli."

So there you go, if you want your children to use zucchini as their divining rod for whether or not something will be delicious then serve them these muffins. Child converter and large zucchini harvest buster, this recipe does it all.

Zucchini Crumb Cake Muffins Yield: 18 large muffins or 24 standard muffins
(adapted from Mom's Zucchini Bread on Allrecipes)

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Crumb topping:
1 handful each: flour, rolled oats and sugar (handful ~ 1/3 cup)
2 knobs butter (~ 2-3 tablespoons)

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease muffin tins.
  2. In a small bowl, use your fingers or a fork to blend together the crumb topping. Set aside. 
  3. Mix together flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In large bowl or mixer, beat together oil, eggs, sugars and vanilla.
  5. Add dry ingredients to egg/oil mixture.
  6. Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
  7. Scoop into prepared muffin tins.
  8. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of each muffin.
  9. Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out with moist crumbs (not batter!)

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