Friday, August 28, 2009

Maple Walnut Zucchini Bars

I have two "Eureka!" recipes trapped in my head at the moment.   Somewhere along the line something inspired me and I become obsessed with creating it, yet it remains ever so slightly elusive.

This is one of them, realized.
Well, sort of.....

 Inspired by something I found in my cupboard...
And an abundance of zucchini!

I think I bought this maple flavoring to make maple walnut fudge a couple years ago, but otherwise I really haven't thought of a use for it.  I love maple flavor, so I use my beloved pure maple syrup when the mood hits, but in all honestly the maple flavor tends to "burn off" in baked goods.  So, I guess that's why they invented this give cakes, cookies and fudge that little extra maple "oomph".

Meanwhile, my zucchini appears to be growing overnight.  I wouldn't say I'm inundated with it, like some folks are, but I sure am running out of ideas.    I was pondering the zucchini brownie recipes over at Allrecipes, when it hit me.

How about a fudgy-brownie like bar, but not chocolate.  Rather, a blondie...a maple blondie..a maple WALNUT blondie....with chunks of white chocolate...and zucchini.

Well, as usual, my first try did not yield the results I was hoping for - I need to brush up on the science of baking.  The texture was more cake-like than brownie-like, and it's probably because I was so afraid of ending up with a goopy mess that I went ahead and increased the flour and added some baking powder.  I poured the batter into my originally chosen 8" x 8" baking dish - knew it didn't look right, as the batter was way too thick - so I scraped it into am 8 1/2" by 11" pan.  It was a step in the right direction! 

While not exactly "brownies", they're not quite thick enough to be "cake".   But I ended up with something that falls somewhere in between.

Here's what I came up with:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. artificial maple flavoring
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In another bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until well-blended.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then maple flavoring and maple syrup until blended.
Stir in flour mixture until just blended.
Squeeze excess liquid out of zucchini, then add the zucchini to the batter and stir in.  Stir in walnuts and white chocolate chips.
Pour into greased 8 1/2" x 11" baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until tester inserted near center comes out clean.  Let cool on baking rack.  Cut into squares.
All in all, a success!  The maple flavor is there, and so is the aroma.  I still have that fudgy-like version in my mind, but for now I'm pretty happy with these!  I was thinking of adding a maple glaze or drizzle, but these are pretty sweet as is, so I skipped it.

So, now that I can put this one to rest for a while, now I can concentrate on that OTHER recipe inspired by this....

1 comment:

Lissaloo said...

yum, I have some frozen shredded zucchini in my freezer that needs to be made into this :)