When a kind co-worker offers fresh zucchini what better thing to bake than zucchini bread. I really like this recipe because of the addition of dried cranberries. Zucchini doesn't have a whole lot of flavor on its own so the addition of the dried cranberries and toasted pecans provide a nice sweet-crunchy taste and texture.
The vanilla bean glaze gives a little extra sweetness with a nice vanilla flavor and tiny vanilla bean seed throughout. I baked this bread in four mini loaves which makes them terrific for freezing or gift giving. Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the entire recipe here (#2 America's Test Kitchen Recipe). Start by spraying 4 mini loaf pans with Pam for Baking and set aside.
I baked these loaves a little differently than the recipe: Adjust oven rack to bottom position. Place a pizza stone on the rack and preheat oven to 375. I use the pizza stone to create an even, hot surface for the bottom of the loaves so they start rising faster and more evenly before the heat from above sets the batter and holds it down.
Pecans: Toast the pecans and chop coarsely. Set aside.
Dried Cranberries: I like to rehydrate dried fruit before adding to baked goods as it helps to keep cakes and cookies moist and delicious. Rehydrate the 3/4 cup of dried cranberries by pouring a couple of tablespoons of water into a bowl with the cranberries. Cook for 1 minute in microwave. Let cranberries cool before adding to batter.
Zucchini: Trim the zucchini and send through the grating attachment on the food processor. This is a super quick and easy way to grate up all that zucchini! Place the grated zucchini on a bunch of paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
Batter: In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, melted butter, eggs, yogurt and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and I added 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom.
Gently fold the grated zucchini and the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the dried cranberries and toasted pecans. Divide batter evenly between the four pans and place on the baking stone in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Interior temperature should be approximately 209 degrees. Let loaves cool for 1 hour before glazing.
Vanilla Bean Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste
Swedish Pearl Sugar to sprinkle
Mix together to form a glaze. Drizzle over loaves. Sprinkle with pearl sugar and let set for 15 minutes before packaging in individual bags.