hey! this is not a cookie!

it’s true, i am straying from cookies today, only because i got such a strong reaction to this delicious zucchini bread, and the requests for the recipe have been pouring in from all angles – family, friends, co-workers. so, to keep everyone happy, and to help you get rid of the last of your summer zucchini (just how many zucchini casseroles can one make?!), i pass along this recipe.

it’s truly one of the most flavorful recipes for zucchini bread i’ve ever tried – and it’s moist even a few days after baking, if it lasts that long! the orange oil adds a special kick, and the scents in your kitchen while baking are truly intoxicating! just be sure to wait to eat it until it has cooled down and been chilled a bit in the fridge – this step really makes a difference!

orange-y zucchini bread with chocolate chips and walnuts
3 eggs
2 cups baker’s sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange oil
2 cups grated zucchini (squeezed of some of it’s moisture)
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground vietnamese cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups 60% cocoa chocolate chips (or any dark chocolate chips)

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9×5 pans.
2. sift together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg)
3. in your mixer, beat the eggs until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
4. add baker’s sugar and beat until well combined with eggs.
5. add vegetable oil, orange oil, zucchini, vanilla extract and orange zest. mix until just combined.
6. stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
7. divide dough evenly between your two prepared pans.
8. bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until metal skewer inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean.
9. remove from oven and let loaves sit in their pans cooling for approximately 15 minutes.
10. remove to wire racks and cool completely.
11. wrap in foil and chill in refrigerator for not less than 4 hours.

yield: 2 loaves

serving suggestion: slice and heat briefly in microwave, then spread with cream cheese! yummy!!

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