It’s about that time, isn’t it? The time during the summer when zucchini plants are absolutely exploding in gardens everywhere. Zucchinis seem to multiply like rabbits from day-to-day. One day you go out and pick five zucchini, don’t see a trace of any others, and by the next morning there are four more full-size zucchini ready to be plucked. If you’ve ever had a garden, you know the joys that come from eating produce that was grown right outside your window. You also know that by the middle of August, you start running out of people to gift with zucchini and tomatoes. That means it’s time to bake!
I have more than a few zucchini recipes on the site already, but now that my mom’s garden is heading into overdrive, it’s a good time to start cranking out a few new recipes. I spied this carrot-zucchini bar recipe awhile back on Pinterest and saved it for the summer, when I knew I would have garden-fresh zucchini at my fingertips. These bars taste like a cross between carrot cake and zucchini bread; topped with an easy cream cheese icing, they make a perfect snack or dessert.
Do you have standby zucchini recipes for when the garden goes crazy?!
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger and baking soda; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until no flour remains. Fold in the carrots, zucchini and walnuts.
Spread the batter into an ungreased 9x13-inch pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Spread evenly over the cooled bars. The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The ginger flavor in these is fairly pronounced, so if you don't like ginger feel free to omit it or substitute cinnamon. You can also use walnuts in place of the pecans, or really any other nut that you like.