Oh, Summer. Summer and your wonderful abundance of zucchini. It seems like anyone who grows zucchinis has the same issue; what the heck to make with all the zucchini?! Breads a pretty standard go-to, and I love me some zucchini bread, but this has to be favorite sweet treat from zucchinis.
For this recipe, I refer to The Book. The Book being the binder of all the recipes my mother-in-law gave to her four boys of all of the recipes they grew up with. It’s filled with so many of my husband’s favorites growing up. From the Cornell Chicken to her Fudge Brownies, every time we make something from The Book, it brings back so many memories of him cooking with his mom. It’s super sweet. It not only has recipes but stories with each about memories associated with the recipe. These Zucchini Apple Bars are the very last recipe in The Book (she adorably alphabetized the whole book), with the note that she just couldn’t make this book and not include this recipe because it’s a super special one for all of them. She even has a note in it to one of the boys now Ex wives… oops!I made these last Sunday when I actually had the afternoon free to just cook and take my time taking photos… it was lovely. And I got so many shots… annndd then my computer and SD card freaked out on me and they’re gone. All of them. Even after a frantic call to my software developer husband who then tried to work his magic by downloading this recovery software and doing bladdy bladdy blah (I don’t speak computer, obviously), he pronounced the SD card dead and all my prep photos dead with it. Sad. Soooo here’s a consolation picture of some of my zucchinis. Haha. The smaller one we’ll use for general zucchini cooking in pastas and other dishes, but the larger ones, because those seeds get so much bigger and they’re just not as tender, they are perfect for these bars. Dan actually requests that I let the zucchinis get as big as possible just for these bars. Then, usually we can get the required 8 cups of zucchini from just one! So they’re called Zucchini “Apple” Bars, because the way the zucchini is cooked, it ends up tasting just like apples. No joke. I bet you could make these and give them to anyone and tell them they were apple bars and they wouldn’t question it, but would be shocked to learn it’s zucchini. I am every time!They’re also pretty easy to make. The baseball bat zucchini was cubed and simmered until soft and tender in lemon juice. Then, just before they’re done, I added some cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg and Boom! Zucchini disguised as apples!While the zucchinis were simmering away, I made the crust / crumble. Super easy. Just flour and sugar cut with room temperature butter until it’s nice and crumbly. It was still moist enough to create a bottom layer by pressing it down on to a the baking sheet to create a thin, even layer and pre-baked it for about 10 minutes. Then, when the
apples zucchini were done (and cooled), I just poured it onto the layer of crust, spread it into an even layer, then sprinkled the rest of the crumble on top and gave it a gentle pat.Into the oven for about 40 minutes and then when it’s done, I sliced them into (not so even, oops) squares!
And here we have it! Some delicious zucchini “apple” bars! A nice thin crust layer on the bottom with a delicious sweet cinnamon and nutmeg flavored zucchini in the middle and a buttery crumble on top! Even better, you can totally make this vegan by instead of using real butter, you can use a non-dairy butter.I totally get why these are one of my husband’s favorite zucchini treats- it tastes like an apple treat but with all the potassium, protein, and vitamins found in zucchinis. Plus, it’s the perfect solution to our summer zucchini “problem” 😉 I’m so excited to share these with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!