I may love a good oatmeal cookie, a spice drop or a molasses cookie, but this time of year when the squash becomes plentiful, I really get hungry for a zucchini spice cookie.
Soft baked and full of nuts and dried fruit, it is a humble cookie with much to boast about. It is a cookie that over the years, in it's absence, my heart has grown fonder for it. Sadly I may never be able to find the original recipe I grew up with, but this is as close as I can remember.
I grew up with the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook as a constant kitchen companion. There never seemed to be recipe I couldn't find in there. Well, until I moved out of the house. I remember that I purchased my own paperback version of the cookbook and was ready to dig in when I started to notice missing recipes. Just little things... little things like the soft zucchini cookies.
I guess the cookies just weren't as fashionable as say, mango salsa. The mango salsa in question was a new addition to the new edition and one I have whole-heartidly falled in love with. But, I still miss my cookies.
Like a fading memory from childhood, I still remember the basic ingredients. Of course the big star are the shredded zucchini.
Now as an adult, I can't help but wonder if the cookies were more of an attempt to utilize a bumper crop (who doesn't have a bumper crop of zucchinin?). My Mom always had it in her garden. It grows well and can easily be left to it's own to grow and produce insane amounts of squash. It doesn't even require much water.
No matter how the cookies came to be a staple in my childhood, they were. Super easy to make, soft and flavorful, I think you will enjoy adding these little cookies to your baking rotation.
Just grab a sturdy box grater and go to town.
I seem to remember the cookies plain, but seem to remember some with nuts. I happened to be all out of the usual walnut, so instead grabbed some pecans. A little orange zest goes a long way in adding another layer of flavor.
Now, my husband is strictly a "no raisins" sort, so I have updated my little cookies with craisins.
Don't worry if the dough seems soft. It is. Just grab a cookie scoop and plop down about a tablespoon of batter. They will puff up a little, but don't spread on the baking sheet.
I love to grab a few to take as a snack. They don't contain chocolate, so they don't melt. They also are great with a glass of milk, but don't require any cookie solvents. They are just stand-alone good cookies.
Zucchini Spice Cookies
You Will Need:
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 c. flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1 1/2 c. grated and drained zucchini
- 1/2 c. toasted and chopped pecans
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer for 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients to the mixer, stir. Then add the milk and then the remaining dry mix. Stir, just till combined. With a spoon, fold in the zucchini, nuts and dried cranberries. Using a cookie scoop, drop the soft dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12 - 15 minutes. The tops should be dry and the edges lightly browned when done.
Do you have a favorite cookie recipe from childhood?