Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lemon Lavender Zucchini [Breads, Muffins, or Cake]

Anyone who knows me, knows that playing the mad baking scientist is kind of a stress reliever. With having 4 extra kidlets for 9 days, I decided it was in my best interest to whip up something creative after putting them all to bed one night.

I had already planned on making up 3 different kinds of muffins to have ready for breakfast the next morning but decided to deviate from my usual recipe when it came time to make the zucchini muffins. You see, I had planned on making carrot cake, pumpkin, and zucchini muffins but they all have similar flavor profiles. Then it hit me, I had a lemon and I had lavender so why couldn't I just make up a lemon lavender zucchini muffin.

[Here's a little backstory on my current lavender craze, which is what made me think of lemon lavender zucchini muffins in the first place. Our favor local coffee place, Valentine Coffee Roasters, featured a seasonal latte this winter made with lavender syrup, which totally got me hooked on the flavor of lavender. It adds such a subtle, floral note to both coffee and baked goods. I got bit hard by the lavender bug and have since gotten into making (and thoroughly enjoying) lavender vanilla sugar (which I discovered at our local spice shop) and lavender coffee syrup. The Spice House has this beautiful dried lavender from Oregon that is just stunning, but they only have it in stock once a year for a short while and you can only buy it in store from what I can tell.] Ok, back to the recipe.

I LOVE lemon - lemon meringue pie, lemon curd on cheesecake (or even a slice of homemade sourdough), lemon drops, and pretty much anything else lemon. My hubby is not a big fan of lemon so I don't make a lot of stuff with it but I had picked up some lemons on a whim when they were on sale. I figured that zucchini would be a perfect blank canvas for my masterpiece as it takes on the flavor of whatever you mix with it. As I worked on the batter I was reminded of my love of lemon poppyseed bread and decided to attempt a similar texture by adding chia seeds, which worked beautifully.

Here's what I came up with:
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender buds (culinary grade)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
Directions
  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans, 2 (12 count) muffin pans, or 2 (24 count) mini muffin pans. Preheat oven to 350°. 
  2. In a food processor, combine 2 tablespoons of lavender with the sugar till lavender is broken up to release flavors.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, lemon juice and zest, and sugar together in a large bowl. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and chia seeds. Add to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes (Muffins) or 40-60 minutes (Bread), or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
Optional: You can also turn this into a cake by dividing batter between 2 (9") round cake pans and
making a lemon lavender cream cheese frosting to be piped in between the layers and on top of the cake. Add fresh blueberries or blackberries between the layers and on top. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Here is the lemon lavender cream cheese drizzle/frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 comments:

  1. What do you think I can I substitute for chia seeds? I dont have any

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poppy seeds or just leave them out.

      Delete