Frosted Zucchini Bars

Summer is wonderful for so many reasons! Lots of free time, family time, swimming, beautiful weather, relaxing, and fresh produce! I especially love the in-season fruits and vegetables! I mean come on! Peaches, green beans, watermelon, cucumbers, broccoli, strawberries, and of course the zucchini! Our garden tends to attack us during the summer, as do a lot of gardens I imagine. One week there’s nothing and the next thing you know you have 4 broccoli heads, two over-sized zucchini, and a big pail of green beans! We eat broccoli and green beans like it’s our job in the summer. It’s almost every night that we steam up a big pot of the stuff, sprinkle it with some season salt, and eat it all up! This summer I have been eating up the zucchini pretty fast too. I keep baking it in the oven with a little parmesan cheese and garlic salt. I could eat a whole zucchini that way, but in an attempt to mix it up, I decided to try a new zucchini recipe.

So instead of filling my belly with warm garlicky zucchini, I am filling it with a very tropical zucchini bar.

This zucchini recipe is unlike any other zucchini recipe I have ever made. It is more on the tropical side. I am not a huge tropical flavoring person. I like mango and pineapple, but they always seem to throw in coconut when something is tropical and I am not a huge fan of coconut. I only eat it occasionally. I am pretty picky about it. The other night at Nelson’s, my sister and I split an ice cream and she got Coconut Dream or something of the sort. It was supposed to taste like a mounds bar or almond joy. I love those candy bars, but that ice cream was nasty! I kept getting little coconut tastes in my cookie dough ice cream, and I did not like that one bit! But I do really like the coconut in Seven Layer Bars. It’s confusing, and I don’t really understand it myself! It’s hard for me to know whether I am going to like the coconut or not. Well anyways, these zucchini bars have some coconut in them. Not a whole lot. Only about a 1/2 cup in the entire 9 by 13 pan, so the taste wasn’t super strong.

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I am still not sure if I am a fan of these bars. They taste good enough, and I have had a bar or two, but I just don’t love them. The bars are almost gone, so people are eating them, but no one has been amazed by them.

Watch out!! These bars have a ton of raisins in them. It’s not that the raisins taste bad, but next time I think I will cut back. In this batch, each bite gives you like 5 raisins! I love raisins, but even I think that’s a bit much! I don’t want a bar of raisins, I want a bar of zucchini with the occasional raisin!

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Along with the raisins and coconut, these bars also have  some orange flavor! They have a little bit of orange zest in the batter and the frosting is also made with orange juice and orange zest! I do really like the orange flavoring in these bars, it was probably my favorite part. It was so interesting and different, but it totally worked! The glaze/frosting was especially yummy. I only had enough for 1/3 of the frosting recipe, so I made the 1/3 and then added a little extra orange juice so that it was less thick and could easily be spread over the entire pan.

So try these bars out if you want, especially if you really like the tropical-y, citrus-y flavors. You may love them! Who knows? I think it’s worth a shot!

This recipe came from the Cookies! cookbook! I am loving that cookbook right now!

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Frosted Zucchini Bars

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups grated zucchini (I ended up using about 2 1/2 – 3 cups)

1 cup golden raisins (I would cut back to 1/2 or 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup flaked coconut

Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp grated orange peel

1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, orange peel, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in zucchini, raisins, and coconut.

Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slight impression remains when bars are lightly touched in center. (My bars took more like 35 minutes, and I had to tent them with foil to prevent over browning) Cool completely.

In medium mixing bowl, combine frosting ingredients. Beat at low speed until smooth. Spread frosting evenly over bars.

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