Monday, June 26, 2006

Zucchini Cookies

Raise your hand if you have ever experienced and overabundance of courgettes/zucchini/summer squash in either your garden or refrigerator.
Everyone? I thought so.
I don't try to grow it anymore for two reasons. The first is that it takes over the garden and results in an unbelievable number of squash. The second is that my garden is already overtaken with cucumbers and I don't have any more room. I buy it, though. I love zucchini because it tastes great, is versatile and is usually both plentiful and inexpensive. I have used it in cornbread and to make oven-fried zucchini sticks, and there are even blogs named after it. From time to time, I am struck by the desire to do something different with my squash and will toss some into a cake or bread, both of which work beautifully - but cookies?
Zucchini works as well in cookies as it does in cakes. Don't worry - the cookies don't taste like zucchini, even though you will be able to see little specks of green in them. It gives the finished product a moistness that is uncharacteristic of most cookies. It also makes them fairly cakelike, much like a muffin top, so this recipe is probably not for you if you only like crunchy cookies!
The cookies are easy to make and use up about 1 medium sized zucchini. Though cakelike, they are not dry and they keep well in an airtight container. I like the fairly mild spicing that the cookies have, but you could certainly add in a bit of freshly grated nutmeg or more allspice, if you like. I prefer raisins to chocolate chips in these cookies, but if you need to have your chocolate fix, simply substitute an equal amount of semisweet chips.

Zucchini Cookies
1 medium zucchini (with skin)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Finely grate the zucchini and, using several paper towels, squeeze as much moisture as possible out of it. You should have approximately 1 cup of zucchini. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg, then zucchini, and gradually beat in the flour mixture. When the cookie dough has just come together, stir in the raisins.
Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Cookies will spread, so leave at least 1 1/2 inches between scoops.
Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350F, until light golden at edges, but not browned all over (which could cause them to be too dry).
Cool on baking sheet for about 4-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Serving suggestion: Sandwiching these with vanilla ice cream or cream cheese frosting is definitely going to convert even the cakey-cookie haters, not to mention it's a good way to sneak some zucchini into a non-zucchini lover's diet!