This past week Ree Drummand, The Pioneer Women, posted this photo of her Mason jar collection.
It made me laugh. Here is mine…
I see you, Ree.
PS- Who wants pickles?!
Digging through my glass jar collection inspired me to do some major spring cleaning and the timing also coincided very well with Lent. A great time for making changes, simplifying and setting goals… among other things. So I decided that, from now until Easter, Adam and I will deep clean and/or declutter a different area of the house each day.
It’s surprisingly going really well! Today we even took on our closet and were able to take three department store bags of old clothes to Goodwill.
One area of the house that isn’t assigned a specific day but we are focusing on this Lenten season is the freezer.
Now, I understand the typical thing to do during Lent is to fast, eat less of something or totally give up some kind of food, like dessert or carbs or whatever. But, we still have quite a bit of frozen garden vegetables that we need to go through.
We have some sweet corn, a little bit of sliced poblano peppers, cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini and grated zucchini in the freezer and it’s only a matter of time before there is more. So, opposed to basically everyone else during Lent, we are going to make an effort to eat.
And in the spirit of continuing to be totally weird and different, I figured why not kick off this abnormal Lenten goal with a dessert.
It’s rare for me to bake. And, if I do bake, it’s even more rarely a sweet treat.
But, grated zucchini is great for baked desserts. One of Adam’s favorite desserts is Chocolate Zucchini Cake and I made it for his birthday in December. It also works really well in chocolate chip cookies.
This cookie was kind of inspired by the chocolate chip cookie recipe and also by a Martha Stewart recipe where she makes it super decadent and turns it into a sandwich cookie.
What is nice about baking cookies is that I typically have all the ingredients in the pantry so I can bake them on a whim. Although, yesterday I was missing chocolate chips. But, with the cream cheese icing filling they didn’t need them… unless you really want them.
They were sweet and had a great balance of spice with the cinnamon, which compliments zucchini really well.
Couple good baking tips for the newbie’s and/or novice:
– It takes a little planning, but makes sure ingredients like eggs, butter, and cream cheese are room temperature. It’s easier to incorporate into the dough, makes more even cooking and a lighter texture.
– More planning. Make sure your oven is completely preheated before putting in baked goods. This also helps ensure more even and thorough cooking.
– The icing recipe below is also great for red velvet cakes!
Zucchini Sandwich Cookies
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 ½ sticks of butter, divided and room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup walnuts or chocolate chips (if desired)
8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder, and salt in bowl.
Beat one stick of butter and sugars until combined and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
Beat in dry mixture into the sugars. Mix in the grated zucchini, oats and nuts and/or chocolate chips.
Refrigerate for one hour.
If making sandwiches you want the cookies to be similar in size, so use an ice cream scoop to place on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet at least one inch apart.
Bake twenty minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make sandwich filling, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Spread on cool cookies to create sandwiches.
Check back often the next few weeks for many more recipes as we make our way through the freezer!