Well, I actually didn't make these bars for the Airstream event, but since I've already posted the recipe for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars that I did make for Madaline and Ernie's rally, I thought I'd substitute a yummy zucchini recipe as part of zucchini week and in keeping with the bar theme for Wednesdays this month. See how well that works out? And these bars are delicious. They are soft and full of flavor, sweet with a little crunch from the walnuts and the cream cheese frosting, with a light hint of lemon, is a perfect match. Almost like a carrot cake, these bars have a nice flavor, cakey texture, and are perfect for a snack, dessert or breakfast. In fact, I took half the pan to my aunt and uncle's house when we visited and we definitely had them with breakfast. These were a lovely sweet alternative to other breakfast pastries on a hot summer day.
These bars were one of my first pins and I was so happy to have an overabundance of zucchini to have an excuse to make them. Laura over at Real Mom Kitchen posted this recipe and I really like how she included the carrot, but didn't make these into a carrot cake bar with zucchini thrown in. The walnuts are a nice touch, too. I was a little skeptical since a bit of ginger was the only seasoning, but it really worked with the creamy frosting, which piled super high on these bars. I adjusted the recipe to include more zucchini than carrots because I was running low on the orange veggies and high on the green ones (I just eked out a full cup of carrot). I also forgot to pick up a lemon to add zest to the frosting, so I used a bit of lemon juice instead, which I liked for a more prominent lemon flavor. These would be great for a morning meeting, church social, book club, or just for a new way to enjoy a zucchini enhanced dessert. If my zucchini plant continues on it's current path, I might be making these a few more times this summer.
Zucchini-Carrot Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients (for bars)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, drained
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, beat eggs, then whisk in brown sugar, oil, honey and vanilla.
Fold in zucchini, carrots and walnuts.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger and baking soda.
Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until combined.
Spread batter in an ungreased 9 x 13 in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, the bars are set and the middle springs back when lightly touched.
Cool completely on a wire rack while preparing the frosting.
Ingredients (for frosting)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and beat in powdered sugar, then lemon juice. Continue beating on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Spread on cooled bars.
Makes 24 bars.
The Cookie Princess
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