You know for sure that summer is in full swing when zucchinis the size of small children start ending up on your doorstep. "What to do with all that zucchini?!" is one of the blessed curses of the summer harvest. I love zucchini in all forms: zucchini noodles, zucchini fritters, zucchini chips, taco stuffed zucchini, and zucchini panini (that one's fun to say). But there's something about baking with zucchini that is so lovely. The summer squash doesn't impart any flavour into what you're adding it in, but it brings a whole lot of moisture to the table that's just perfect in things like muffins and loaves.
I thought I'd try my hand at zucchini blondies this year, taking a decadent treat to a healthy level by adding a cup of shredded and squeezed out zucchini (that's one whole medium zucchini). I've also used a blend of spelt and all-purpose flours to bump up the dietary fiber, and have finished the whole thing off with a crunchy golden cinnamon sugar lid. It's not entirely virtuous, there's still plenty of butter and sugar up in these blondies, but they're definitely a treat you can feel good about.
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup shredded zucchini squeezed dry and packed
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole grain spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain salt
- ½ cup walnut pieces chopped
For the topping:
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Butter the sides of a 9x9 inch square baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Add the grated zucchini to the wet mix and stir well to combine.
- In a separte bowl, sift together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry mix to the wet and combine using a spatula or wooden spoon, being careful to not over mix. Stir in the walnuts.
- Scrape the blondie mixture into the prepared baking dish and use a spatula to even out the top.
- Combine the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon, using your fingers to work them together. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the blondies in an even layer.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. There should be a few bits of moist batter clinging to a tester when they're done — be mindful to not over bake these, as they should be more chewy than cakey.
- Cool on a wire rack until the blondies reach room temperature.
- Slice into 9 - 12 pieces and enjoy!