I am not usually very dramatic, but this zucchini bread is insanely delicious and you should make it asap. It is dense but very moist, only slightly sweet, and has holiday spices that warm you right up. Plus, if you decide to make it with the “optional” fresh cranberries (and, ahem, you should), you now have a festive loaf that is perfect for your holiday gatherings.
One thing I love about cooking and baking during Thanksgiving and Christmas is that it seems to force me to slow down and enjoy the moment. At least that is what I envision and hope for in such a busy season! I make it a goal to put aside whatever project I had been multitasking and focus upon the zucchini bread, or the stuffing, or (if you have read this far, sneak preview!!!) the roasted cumin carrots with cardamom greek yogurt. It is not easy to do something, uninterrupted (especially for those who have children!) for an hour or two, but this approach helps me to enjoy process of creating something delicious and savoring the holidays.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! After editing these photos I am practically drooling over my computer, so I had better sign off to go make more zucchini bread! Happy Holidays!
HOLIDAY SPICED ZUCCHINI BREAD
makes one loaf
1.75 cups (227g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
heaping 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (110g) coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon (optional)
1.5 cups grated zucchini- do not pat dry (about one large zucchini)
1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional but recommended)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (optional but recommended)
Butter the inside of one loaf pan (8.5×4.5inch or 9x5inch) and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare dry ingredients:
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl:
Beat the egg with brown sugar for about a minute then beat in oil, honey, vanilla, and brandy (if using). Mix in zucchini. Mix in dry ingredients until all combined. Fold in with a spatula the chocolate chips and cranberries.
350 degrees F for approximately 70-75 min, until golden brown on top and when a knife or toothpick comes out of the center clean.