Zucchini seems to be all the rage on food blogs this week. It was also popular in my fridge, as I seemed to have a whole pile of zucchinis without a plan. Sometimes I get a little excited about produce at the grocery store, and end up with a bunch of it and it is really not feasible for us to eat it all as a side dish. I had seen a recipe in some cookbook of mine that had a zucchini loaf with lemon glaze. However, I scoured books and magazines and couldn’t find the recipe. I was fairly certain it was a Cooking Light recipe, but even a search of their site didn’t turn it up. Hmmph!

In the meantime, I got an email from another site with a recipe for zucchini cupcakes with caramel frosting . .. yum!. However, last weekend my friend and I took a little field trip up the California coast to the Mendocino area. In a little town called Point Arena we discovered this amazing little french bakery called Franny’s cup and saucer. Amazing is all I can say! Holla Franny! There I enjoyed the yummiest cashew almond cookie with a thick brown butter frosting. I ate half the cookie the first day, and when I went to finish it the next day it was still moist and fantastic. I know I am going to dreaming about that cookie for a long time and wondering how to make it. . .

So a brown butter frosting was certainly in order for my zucchini cupcakes! Luckily I found one courtesy of Orangette (holla Orangette!) so I was set to make my cupcakes. Then, of course, I was looking in my complete Cooking Light book and wa la .. . there was the recipe! By the way, I have a bone to pick with the Cooking Light folks. I bought my “complete” book a year ago . . . and what is at my Costco right now the “new” complete book and it is in a great binder! Whatever!! They should at least wait a couple of years before releasing a new version . . . hmmph!

But now I have a dilemma, which recipe to make? One was a little bit more of a breakfast treat, the other a dessert . . . what to do, what to do?? I know! Make both and compare . . . aww my first duo!

First up the cupcakes! This is definitely a cakier batter with more eggs and more oil than the bread recipe. I also have some green little cupcake tulip liners . . . emphasizing their fabulous green zucchini flecks. Tasting them pre-frosting they have a good amount of spice and are nice and moist without being really sweet. Which is good, because they are about to get a sweet hat of frosting!

Brown Butter Frosting

Orangette’s recipe is simple and she does a meticulous job straining out the little brown flecks with cheesecloth. I was not that patient . . . although I did run it through the sieve to get out any big chunks. As I was mixing the frosting looked a little lumpy and scary! But I kept mixing and adding milk and sugar until it tasted right and smoothed out.

All I can say is yum! The frosting, to quote my boy, is “intense” but really, really worth it! It definitely complimented the not too sweet zucchini cupcake perfectly. The toasted nut is more than decoration, it is great with the frosting and the cake. I took these to work and everyone was very excited to try them! This is a great way to eat your vegetables!!!

Zucchini Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting
Courtesy of Taste of Home
For Brown Butter Frosting click here
3 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice (I substituted buttermilk)
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice (buttermilk) and extract. Combine dry ingredients; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Add zucchini and mix well.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze
This was delicious and much more in the tradition of a breakfast bread. The lemon glaze definitely jazzes it up. The cupcakes were much more moist, but also had a lot more oil. For a lighter cake, the Cooking Light version is a great one for the calories!

Lemon Glazed Zucchini Quick Bread
Courtesy of Cooking Light
2 1/3 cups AP Flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbl grated lemon rind
1 large egg
Cooking Spray
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbl fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350
Whisk together flour and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, milk, oil, rind, and egg in a bowl, add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist.

Spoon batter into an 8×4 inch loaf pan coated with baking spray. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool loaf 10 minutes in pan then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice with a whisk. Drizzle over the loaf. 14 servings