Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Zucchini cookies

It's that time of the year, when everyone seems to have zucchini coming out their ears. I guess that stuff REALLY likes Michigan. Or it's easy to grow. Or both.

I have to say, zucchini is one of my least favorite veggies. I just don't like the flavor or the texture. I mean, it's edible, but I don't go out of my way to make it. Mom used to bread and fry it sometimes and I remember that being OK, if it didn't turn out soggy.

Anyway, the one thing my mom used to make with the zukes was a batch of cookies. They aren't hard, dunking cookies like chocolate chip. More of a cake-like soft cookie. But they taste good. So, I decided to pick up a couple zukes at the farmer's market and make up a batch.

The first step brings me to what has to be my least favorite kitchen gadget: The Box Grater! Ugh. I despise using box graters. For one thing, I am always afraid I'm going to grate my finger. I've lost fingernails on this thing so many times. (No, I don't use the food after I've grated a nail into it. That's nasty.) Also, I think they're a pain to clean, and they make a big mess.

But, I don't think food-processed zucchini would work for this recipe, so I set about grating up the green stuff. Two cups of it, which was about two not-tiny-but-not-huge zukes.

Then I mixed it up according to the recipe. It looks like your dog ate a bunch of grass then threw up.

Once I got it mixed, it was really runny. I got to thinking maybe I'd accidentally put one too few cups of flour in, so I threw another in. That got the dough to a better consistency, however, my cookies turned out way different than mom's used to. Hers got really flat and were kind of sticky, but tasted better. Mine held together well and were not so sticky, but I thought they tasted like they had a bit too much flour.

Also, I got sick of making cookies, so I dumped the rest of the dough into a loaf pan and baked it forever 'til the middle finally set. It tastes good but got kind of dry.

Slathering it with a huge amount of real butter helps, not that I'd know anything about that.

Anyway, if you want to try zucchini cookies, these passed the kid test, for sure. My boys have been eating them like crazy. They're not EXTREMELY healthy but hey, they do have veggies in them.

For some reason, Jordan keeps calling them "tortilla cookies." I think he learned the words "tortilla" and "zucchini" both last week, and his mind is mixing them up. Anyway, it's stinkin' cute.

Here's my mom's recipe if you want to try making them yourself. I would suggest sticking to the original amount of flour rather than adding another cup to make the dough less sticky. Just allow room on the pans for the cookies to run out flatter, and make sure if you stack them after they cool, use waxed paper in between the layers. Keeping them in the fridge might help, too.


Zucchini Cookies

Beat three eggs until light and foamy.
Add 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups grated zucchini and 3 tsp. vanilla extract and mix lightly but well.
Mix 4 cups flour (I used white whole wheat flour) 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. cinnamon and add to egg mixture. Blend.
Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and stir.
Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet and bake in pre-heated 325-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Remember, the cookies will be soft and cake-like.