A chilly weather weekend makes for the perfect state of affairs for working on the house...and um, Baking! It started off innocently enough...I opened the fridge and saw that I had an extra peeled zucchini that was left over from a dinner we just made. It looked lonely sitting there all naked without it's peel...I wanted to see if I could somehow put it to use. And that's when I remembered seeing this recipe, which called for zucchini...it didn't call for "peeled" zucchini...it's actually better to keep the peel on when baking with zucchini, but I figured I could make do. Nothing warms a kitchen (or a soul) better than fresh baked bread.
Aaron happened to be in the kitchen already...spackling, patching holes, and sanding the walls. All of the furniture and shelves are pulled away from the walls...everything is in disarray... So sure, it may seem like an odd time to bake bread. But I never said I wasn't odd. I gathered up my ingredients, and Aaron made sure to keep the dust and paint on his side of the kitchen.
It was a good day in the Everyday is a Holiday kitchen. We were psyched to be baking a deeeelish recipe...and I can't begin to explain how excited we are about redecorating. We do so much cooking together, and we really look forward to the kitchen being exactly the way we want it. And to be totally honest...we're just so tired of it being such a wreck after all the storm damage, and we can't wait to finally have a room where we can share pics of great meals being made...and eaten! When is the last time we could show a proper table setting?! Jeeez...to finally have it all back together will feel so great!
So...let's get to the recipe.
Here is what you will need:
1 cup unsalted butter melted
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs (at room temperature)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini (unpeeled is better)
1 cup diced peeled apple
1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
1/2 cup cream cheese softened (I used light)
1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons orange juice (or as needed)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease two loaf pans or one loaf pan and one muffin pan, which is what I did.
In a large bowl, blend together your butter, sugar, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine your flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Fold your dry ingredients into your went ingredients, followed by your carrots, zucchini, apples, and pecans.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and tops spring back when pressed. The loaf took about one hour, and the muffins about 23 mins. All ovens vary so just keep an eye on them. You can always use a toothpick to test the centers. Let cool.
For the Glaze...Cream together your cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Mix in your powdered sugar...adding orange juice a little bit at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. You may need more or less...you want to be able to drizzle the glaze over your loaf.
We really enjoyed this recipe. I think what I loved most were the apple chunks. Sooooo good! I would def make it again. The muffins baked up perfectly, which made me think of what I'm going to do next time I bake this. It will be a meeting of these two options...the best of both worlds you could say. I'm gonna make mini loafs with my adorable mini loaf pan!
I recommend this recipe for the next time it gets chilly...and lets say the definition of "chilly" is anything under 70 degrees! ha! :) But seriously, this is my kind of baking. I love when sweets have veggie sneak attacks built into them. And it goes without saying that everything in the world is better with a cream cheese glaze drizzled over it. :)
xo, Jenny...and Aaron