Thursday, October 27, 2011

June's Zucchini Pie

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables. You can use it in so many ways: grill it, roast it, mix it into baked goods, savory pancakes, but my new favorite way is June’s Zucchini Pie. This recipe came from my friend Kims’ mom who is a great cook.  Kim said she's been making this since she was little.  In all my time spent at their house as a kid, I never had it but I realize now that is probably because it was eaten up so quickly!

Aside from some slicing, this is super easy to make and smells delicious baking! You can make it in a pie dish or pour it into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. It is similar to a quiche in the consistency, but the best part is that you don’t have to make a pie crust.

Serve it along with a salad for a light lunch or dinner, as a side dish, or just as a snack as is the way I enjoyed much of it. I literally could not stop myself from cutting off little squares of it each time I went into the kitchen…I think I ate half of it alone the afternoon I made it!  Enjoy!

June's Zucchini Pie

Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare your pans by smearing with shortening or a spray of PAM.

3 cup thinly sliced zucchini (about 4 small)
1 cup Bisquick mix
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp parsley
½ tsp salt
½ garlic salt
½ tsp oregano leaves
½ cup (Mazola) corn oil
1 clove garlic (chopped)
4 eggs – slightly beaten
Dash of pepper

Mix all ingredients together; pour into 2 pie pans or a 9 by 13 inch oblong pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brown Sugar Pound (Cup) Cakes

I'm one of those bakers who needs to have a reason to make a dessert. It doesn't have to be a good reason, but a reason, and I often make one up or find one. As I was looking through an old Martha Stewart Living magazine that featured cupcakes, I realized I needed to have a reason to make and share some of these delicious little cakes. My 'found' reason this week was that two co-workers of mine were celebrating birthdays.

Not knowing anyone's chocolate or vanilla preference, I chose a pound cake type with a glaze. The glaze was great because it was so much more easy to make than frosting - no beating cups and cups of confectioners sugar into a bowl!  There were compliments all around and not a single cupcake left!

Brown Sugar Pound Cupcakes with a Brown-Butter Glaze

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk** (see note at bottom)

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablelspoons whole milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line your cupcake tins with paper liners. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (except brown sugar)l. In another bowl cream butter and brown sugar together with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating each on in before adding the next.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Measure out the buttermilk and set aside. You will use this as your wet ingredient. Next you'll begin adding the wet ingredients (buttermilk) and dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) into the butter and brown sugar mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet and ending with a dry ingredient addition. Scrape sides of bowl as you mix the batter. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. I use an ice cream scoop with a wire scraper to measure out the batter evenly.

Bake cupcakes until a toothpick tester inserted into centers comes our clean, about 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins. 

Once the cupcakes are cooled, make the glaze. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to turn a golden brown color, about 10 minutes. Then pour the butter into a bowl being careful not to pour the little brown bits at the bottom of the pan into the bowl. Add the sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk to the melted butter and stir until smooth. If you want a thinner glaze, add another tablespoon or two of milk. Spoon about a tablespoonful of the glaze on each of the cupcakes and let them stand until set. I preferred a thicker glaze because I wanted a nice dollop on top, but a thinner one would spread out more. 

**No buttermilk? You need the acidity of the buttermilk to help the cupcakes rise so you can't substitute regular milk. So, take a 1 cup liquid measuring cup and put in a tablespoon of cider vinegar in then fill up with milk for a full cup. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes and you've got buttermilk. Use the 3/4 cup you need for the recipe - you'll have a little bit left over, but not as much you would if you bought a whole quart as buttermilk isn't the type of milk you want to add to your cereal!