Build Me Up Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

or the breakfast bread of garden champions.

I like a challenge.  So this week I took on a food that my hubby is not very fond of in an attempt to change his mind - zucchini bread.  He was persuaded to try it by the aroma that filled the house when he got home and the taste test certainly did not disappoint.  I win!  *resounding applause fills the house*

Now, I was never a fan of zucchini bread growing up but it was more on principle since it was threaded with unnerving flecks of green that I did not believe had any place in bread.  I have since made my peace with the presence of the offending vegetable and decided that it was time to convince others to do the same.  This recipe has a nice hint of the earthiness of zucchini without it being overwhelming, if you really want the zucchini flavor you may want to increase the volume in this recipe but I haven't tested the bake times and texture with that adjustment so you do so at your own risk...  The brown sugar really provides a nice richness to the bread and a hint of molasses undertone that really adds to the aromatic appeal while it is baking.  You can add any number or type of mix-ins to the base recipe if you like nuts or other type of flavored "chips" aside from semi sweet chocolate, just try not to make it too crowded or the ingredients will start to battle each other (and nobody wants to be a part of an ingredient throw down, everyone loses in the end and the kitchen is just a disaster).  This is excellent as either breakfast or dessert, I highly recommend warming it a bit when enjoyed after it has cooled and been stored as it restores it to its fresh out of the oven glory nicely.  Check it out:

Flour - 3 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 tsp
Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla - 3 tsp
Egg Beaters - 3/4 cup
Vegetable Oil - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 1/4 Cups
Brown Sugar - 1 cup
Zucchini - 2 cups grated (about 2 medium sized)

Optional per loaf, to "build it up":
Mini Chocolate Chips - 1/3 cup
Dried Cherries - 1/2 cup

Hardware: 2 loaf pans, greased and floured
Preheat oven to 325 F

1. Mix in a large bowl: flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg.

2. Make a well in the center and beat the following together within that well: egg beaters, vanilla, vegetable oil, sugar, brown sugar.

3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl together until well blended.  Stir in the grated zucchini.  I like to separate the batter at this point and make two different variations.  I pour half the batter into the first pan and then add the optional cherries and chocolate chips into the remaining batter before pouring it into the second pan.

4. Bake for 50-60 min, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Place on cooling rack for 20 min to set.  Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (if it isn't devoured sooner).

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