Well, this seems like the fourth recipe in a row that contains vegetables... I should just be called the Veggie Fairy! In case you missed it, I've got sweet potato pie, pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip muffins, and pumpkin swirl brownies. Not to mention all the other veggie recipes I've made that aren't all right after each other... Feel free to check those out and feel guilt-free about desserts that contain good-for-you vegetables. :) Anyways, as you may know, I'm a nanny to the most wonderful little girl ever... we will just call her H. I've been taking care of Little H since she was 1 1/2.... and now she's 4! Waaaah! It makes me so very sad. I'm gonna be a mess when I have my own kids. Little H and I hang out every day, and every day we make snacks for her brothers for when they come back from school. Fridays are her favorites because we always make special treats like brownies or cookies or cupcakes. Yesterday we made zucchini cupcakes, and they were deeeelicious! Anything that tastes good AND gets the kids to eat their vegetables is a good recipe in my book.
I took advantage of all the Christmas "scenery" in their house to take some lovely Christmas-y pictures, even though zucchini cupcakes are usually not a food people think of when thinking about the holiday season. It makes sense though, green(ish) cupcakes and red/white wrappers make them perfectly appropriate! You can't see the green very much because of the snowfall of powdered sugar on top, but you can definitely tell when you bite into them. Little H and her brothers helped me make these cupcakes, and even though the batter looked really super gross.... like puke or dog food or something... they were good sports and admitted that even though it looked bad, it smelled really yummy. Once baked, they looked more appetizing and tasted as good as we'd hoped. :) I'm sure these could be turned into zucchini muffins with some whole wheat flour to give them more body, and maybe some crunchy oatmeal or something for added fiber. These do contain walnut chunks though, which I thought were a delicious addition. These zucchini cupcakes are easy and delicious, and they should definitely be added to your recipe stash. :)
Adapted, barely, from Martha Stewart
Yields: 12 cupcakes plus a few minis!
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 small zucchini, grated (to yield about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F, and line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add in the walnuts and mix together well to coat.
In a large bowl, combine the grated zucchini, oil, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until there are no more dry spots... don't overmix though!
Divide batter evenly among the cups, trying not to overfill. If you have leftover batter, make more regular cupcakes or do what I did and make mini cupcakes!
Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The recipe said to bake them for 40 minutes, so I checked at halfway point and they were already done! The mini cupcakes were a bit overcooked at 20, so check them often to see when they're ready.
Let them cool for a few minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a cooling rack until they are cooled completely. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost them with icing... the original recommends cream cheese. :)