Summers at home were ushered in not so memorably by the end of the school year, but instead by loaves of fresh zucchini bread. My sister and I would devour the green-flecked loaves, drenched with glossy powdered-sugar icing, almost as soon as our mother could get them out of the oven.
Last year, I must have asked my mom on a busy day for her zucchini bread recipe because she told me to "Google it, something similar is sure to come up." Well, last weekend, I asked again, and she helped me find her cookbook with the recipe scrawled in it.
I jotted it down and made a batch as soon as I got home--one loaf for my sister and a half-batch of muffins for me... And that disappeared just as quickly as the loaves we enjoyed as kids.
Mom's Zucchini Bread
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (OR 3/4 cup applesauce plus 2 tbls oil for a low-fat version)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350. Using parchment paper, create a sling in two loaf pans, or butter and flour a muffin tin. (This recipe will make two 8x4 loaves, 24 muffins, or one 9x5 loaf and six muffins.... your pick!)
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil (or applesauce and oil for a lower-fat version), sugar, vanilla, and zucchini. I always double the amount of zucchini, so feel free to put as much as you want in there.
In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour (you can substitute some whole wheat flour if you'd like--I always do) and other dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture to the wet, and mix until well incorporated. No need to use a mixer for this recipe--a simple hand whisk will do the trick.
Pour the batter into the appropriate baking vessel, and pop into the oven. For muffins, bake about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For loaves, bake about 50-65 minutes, or or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
If you'd like to ice them, whip up a simple glaze icing:
1 cup powdered/confectioner's sugar
2 tbls lemon juice
Mix together, adding either more sugar or liquid until the desired texture/thickness is achieved. Pour over the hot bread and be sure to lick the bowl.