The Best Zucchini Bread

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Once again, the year is flying by! I can’t believe it’s almost August and summer is coming to an end! So we need to live up the next few weeks. The weather in Chicago has been amazing lately so plants, flowers and gardens are looking great. A friend of mine gave me some zucchini from her garden so of course I made a zucchini bread 🙂 This recipe is so easy and delicious, one that will please everyone.

So let’s go start those oven and bake!

Note: Grate the zucchini on the large side of a box grater.

What you will need:

Loaf pan, greased

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (do not drain liquid!)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the zucchini, both sugars, applesauce, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store covered in the refrigerator. This bread is best served chilled. Enjoy!

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Soft White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I have a couple other recipes for white chocolate chip cookies and squares, but this one is a bit different. Liam loves white chocolate and prefers vanilla over chocolate. Crazy, right?! He is completely satisfied with plain old vanilla when we go get ice cream, too. So we decided to make these cookies today since it’s threatening to storm. I’m glad we did because they are delicious! Yucky weather calls for yummy cookies! So go ahead and get your aprons on and let’s bake….

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12 oz) bag of white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat together butter and both sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Slowly beat in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about 2 tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Allow to cool a bit on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Store covered at room temp.

Small Batch Brownies!

Yum! Who doesn’t love a delicious, warm, gooey brownie?! These are super good and easy to make and guaranteed not to have any leftovers! So if you need a dessert for 2-5 people, here you go! Small batch brownies are perfect for a quick little gathering or dessert for movie night with the kids (or a date!). Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream on top and you are good to go… Oh and the best part, one bowl and one spoon is all you need for easy clean up! Let’s get to baking…

What you will need:

Small loaf pan (I used a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan) greased and lined with parchment paper hanging over the sides.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg

Note: Feel free to add chopped nuts or chocolate chips!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add in melted butter, vanilla, water and egg and stir until fully combined. Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly.

Back for 18-22 minute. Allow to cool a bit before pulling out by the parchment paper and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Serve right away, warm! Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

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I love being able to just whip up a batch of muffins for my family 🙂 I had blueberries and 2 very ripe bananas so voila! Perfect snack for after school, work or for breakfast. Super easy, not many ingredients, here we go…

What you will need:

Muffin tin greased or lined with paper cups

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup butter at room temp
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Beat in sugar, egg and butter until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture. Fold in blueberries.

Fill muffin pan 2/3 way full and bake 17-19 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before removing to a wire rack.

Store covered at room temp. Enjoy!

Almond Bars

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I can’t believe I didn’t have a jelly roll pan! You need one to make these so off I went and finally bought myself one. These bars are so tasty and very easy to make so if you need a dessert that feeds quite a few people, this is it! Cut them big or small, decorate with fruit or however you like and you have a crowd pleaser. So, here we go… let’s go make some almond bars!

Note: Even though these bars do not take long to make, always read through the instructions first! There are some new steps that I typically do not do in my recipes. Also, I did this entire recipe using a hand mixer.

What you will need:

Jelly roll pan, lightly greased (I used a 16 x 12 in.)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup water
1 cup butter

For the glaze:

6 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, combine sour cream, eggs and extract. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and beat until just combined. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil the water and butter. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and pour into the mixture that is set aside. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula.

Bake for 17-20 minutes.

When the bars have about 5 minutes left to bake, start making the glaze. Melt the butter and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour into a bowl and whisk in powdered sugar and extract until smooth and combined. Pour the warm glaze over the warm bars. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!

Store covered in the fridge.

You can decorate however you like! They are so pretty 🙂

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

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So… I thought I posted this recipe like 2 weeks ago but apparently not. I’m not sure what happened but, no big deal, I will rewrite and post again. (super big sigh!)

This carrot cake is so good and I literally ate the extra cream cheese frosting with a spoon. Yup. No shame. So delicious. I made this a couple weeks ago and I’m making it again tomorrow to bring to my parents house because it is my mom’s favorite. It’s the perfect size since it’s a loaf and not a tiered cake or a bundt cake which I have made before. So, go ahead and grate those carrots and let’s bake a cake!

What you will need:

Loaf pan, greased and lined with parchment paper

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (packed and drained)
2 large eggs

For the frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese at room temp
2 tablespoons butter at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together sugar, oil carrots and eggs until combined. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before removing with parchment paper. Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until nice and creamy and smooth. Add in powdered sugar and beat until you reach desired consistency. Frost cooled cake, slice and enjoy!

Store covered in the fridge.

Chewy Oatmeal Banana Cookies

My sister just had a baby!! Ah! I now have 3 nephews, that makes a total of 4 boys in our family. Holy cow. I made these cookies to bring to her as she is laid up in a hospital room. Ugh, definitely not fun. But these will give her energy and is the perfect pick me up snack. I wish I had chocolate chips because those would have been a tasty addition, but I didn’t so here we are! Delicious oatmeal banana cookies! Let’s get to baking…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, corn starch, baking soda and oats. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, both sugars, mashed bananas, vanilla and egg until combined. Slowly add in oatmeal/flour mixture and mix until combined. If needed, place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up the dough.

Drop cookie dough by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Store covered at room temp.