Sunday, September 4, 2011

Zucchini Carrot Bars

{{Zucchini Carrot Hearts with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting}}

(printer friendly version)

2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini, with peels on
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

{Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting}

1 (8 oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey, and vanilla. (Cooking Tip: Measure the oil in a 1/4 measuring cup, then using the same cup measure the honey... it will just fall right out of the cup, nothing will stick to the inside of the cup). Set aside. Shred the carrots and zucchini (peels on add more color and texture, but you can take them off too!) and chop the walnuts. Then fold the carrot, zucchini, and walnuts in the egg and sugar mixture.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and baking soda. Whisk to blend together.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and stir just until combined. Spread batter into a parchment paper lined 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cooled, pull the cake out of the pan by pulling up on the edges of the parchment paper. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet.

Prepare the frosting. In a small microwave safe bowl, soften the cream cheese by heating on high for about 30 seconds. You don't want the cream cheese melted, but you want it really soft. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sifted powdered sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed. Frosting will be soft. Put frosting into a piping bag with a small circle tip (or ziploc bag and snip a tiny hole in the corner) and pipe frosting over the cooled bars in a zig zag pattern.

**Simplified version.... Just cut the bars into squares and pipe (or spread) the frosting on them.

Store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy! Healthy and delicious! Perfect!

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