Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zucchini Bread 2 ways - one with organic Coconut Oil

 I love zucchini bread. When it's made well, it's amazing - not too sweet, and you can almost not feel guilty for eating it. Almost.

I wanted to experiment with it, though. Add a perhaps a little texture with oatmeal, see how it tastes with coconut oil. And the result is a delicious bread. The coconut oil one is my favorite.

I wanted to chat a bit about using coconut oil in baking. I've been experimenting with it for quite a while now, and have a few tips. Now, I know that everyone preaches about room temperature eggs, etc. etc. However, when cooking with coconut oil, this becomes much more important. The buttermilk I used needs to be room temperature. You can zap it 30 seconds in the microwave on low or medium - just to get the chill off.

You may wonder why I'm stressing this - and the reason is simple. At room temperature, coconut oil is solid. For other fats, this may be a good thing. For coconut oil and baking, it's really not. When it gets colder, it turns into tough little chips, which affects the texture of your baked goods. It's a much nicer end result if the coconut oil is warmed to liquid before adding it to your baked goods. It incorporates into your recipe better.

Coconut oil also imparts a much richer taste to your baked goods. You can use less of it than other fats, and you can reduce the sugar required as well. When used properly, your baked goods will taste rich and delicious, but have a few less calories than normal methods.

I do also want to add that coconut oil is not a neutral flavor. You will still taste a tropical note when you cook with it. I enjoy that taste, it adds to the richness. I have a few other things made with coconut oil in the works, so stay tuned!


For a .pdf of the Zucchini Bread, or Coconut Oil Zucchini bread, click on the links. Enjoy!



Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
½ c. oats (not instant)
1 cup flour
½ c. buttermilk
½ c. oil
2 eggs
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. sugar
½ t. vanilla
½ t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a large loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly with oil. Add sugars, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until no lumps remain and mixture is well combined. Add in zucchini. Add in oats and flour, and mix until flour is incorporated. Fold in nuts.

Place in prepared pan, and bake 50-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let rest 15-20 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool completely before cutting.


Coconut Oil Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
½ c. oats (not instant)
1 cup flour
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. coconut oil, heated until liquid
½ t. vanilla
½ t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
½ t. baking soda
1 ½ t. baking powder
2/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a large loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix until no lumps remain and mixture is well combined. Add in zucchini. Add in oats and flour, and mix until flour is incorporated. Fold in nuts.

Place in prepared pan, and bake 50-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let rest 15-20 minutes in the pan before removing. Cool completely before cutting.




Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dulce de Leche bars

 I have become a new convert to dulce de leche. I've discovered it's secret. Well, it's not a secret. You see, I hate sweetened condensed milk. I just don't like the way it tastes. So, all the dulce de leche I made tasted like that can.

From scratch, though, is completely different. It's also completely different if you cook the cans enough. I never did, for fear I would have exploding sugar-milk shrapnel in my kitchen. It could happen, although I know it's rather rare.


If you are a fan of caramel, or dulce de leche, you will love these bars. They have a deep milk caramel flavor, yet taste like a nice cookie bar. And, pouring more over the top is just a bonus!
For a printable recipe, click here. Enjoy!



Dulce de Leche Bars

1 cup dulce de leche, plus more for glazing (optional)
½ c. butter, softened
2/3 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
½ t. salt
2 c. flour
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x9x2 square pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar, and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, beating after each egg. Add flour and dulce de leche, and mix until batter has no flour streaks remaining. Add vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and mix an additional minute.

Pour into 350 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

Serve with more dulce de leche on top, if you wish.