Zucchini is one of my favorite things on this earth. It's a summer gem that tastes fabulous straight off the grill, and yet it is a squash so we can totally call it seasonal come autumn. I love zucchini. Anyway and every way.
And, believe me, I have had it every. single. way.
When I was ten years old my parents bought a house "in the country." Yes, it was about five minutes from a bustling town, but our backyard did not rest against a major highway and we owned more than 300 sq. feet of land so, to us, it was country livin'.
Soon after putting down metaphorical roots in that nearly 2 acres of homeland, we set out to put down some more literal roots. We planted a garden. A really big, really time-consuming garden that produced far and beyond what our little family of five could eat. I picked roughly one hundred cucumbers a day. The first two hours of my day were spent picking beans. And my mother learned to cook zucchini about 25 different ways.
I remember returning from a road trip with my mother and siblings. We had gone to visit family friends for a few days and my sainted father was running the homestead and garden solo.
We walked in the door late at night to find him juggling pans, many of which he had bought solely for his current purposes, and a counter covered with loaf after loaf of zucchini bread. Zucchini bread with walnuts, zucchini bread with chocolate chips, zucchini bread with extra zucchini. It was all there. Our ever-resourceful father had put the fruits of our spring labors to good use.
These are the memories that swept by my mind's eye when I was making these tiny loaves for our house guests.
These darling, 3-bite loaves make the perfect breakfast when offered alongside a cup of coffee and a decently vibrant conversation.
And, most importantly, they carry my father's seal of approval, as he will always be the zucchini bread champion. Well, at least in my mind.
Thanks for the memories, and will you please pass another loaf my way?
Chocolate Drizzled Mini Zucchini Bread Loaves
Cook's Note: I used an 8-cavity mini loaf pan. My pan makes 4x3-inch loaves. You can use any mini loaf pan in this recipe, you may just need to adjust the baking time accordingly.
FOR THE BREAD
Bread recipe adapted slightly from Food Network.
- 1 heaping cup grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini)
- 1 1/2 cups +2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your mini loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Place the grated zucchini in a colander lined with two layers of paper towels. Bring up the sides and use the paper towels to press the zucchini, draining away any excess water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, salt, spices, and baking soda. In a large measuring cup, whisk together sugar, oil, eggs, and water.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk to form a thick, smooth batter. Use a spatula to fold in the grated zucchini.
Divide the batter amongst the eight cavities and bake.
Bake for 20-30 minutes; until the tops are crisp and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the loaves to cool completely. In the meantime, prepare the glaze.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons water
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder. Pour in vanilla extract and water and whisk until the icing is smooth and thick.
Place the cooled loaves on a lined baking sheet topped with a cooling rack. Lay the loaves out onto the cooling rack and drizzle with the prepared glaze.
Allow the loaves to sit for 2 hours; until the icing has set.
If covered, these loaves will last for up to 3 days.